Abstract # 18:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 11:15 AM-11:30 AM: Session 2 (Mayfair Room) Oral Presentation

Does temperament similarity predict compatibility of same-sex and opposite-sex rhesus macaques paired in grooming-contact?

C. M. Crockett, G. H. Lee, J. P. Thom and K. L. Bentson
Washington National Primate Res. Ctr., University of Washington, Box 357330, Seattle, WA 98195-7330, USA
     We tested whether laboratory rhesus macaques judged to be similar by two types of temperament assessment were more likely to be compatible when paired in grooming-contact. Three juvenile and 66 adult Macaca mulatta were introduced in 74 unique pairings according to an established protocol; 34 were initial pairings for the subjects. Pairs judged compatible stayed together while others were re-paired until a compatible partner was found (or 3-4 unsuccessful pairings). Prior to initial pairing, the subjects were scored for temperament by a neutral observer. Several months after the final pairing, two other researchers who introduced the pairs applied identical temperament definitions plus scored subjects’ responses to a novel food (pretzel) and toy hung outside the cage, following methods of Coleman (personal communication). Simplified temperament categories were ranked 1-Tense-pre&post-pairing, 2-Confident-then-Tense, 3-Tense-then-Confident, 4-Confident-pre&post-pairing. Novelty score, derived from latency to manipulate items, ranged from 0 (inspect neither) to 12 (manipulate both <10 seconds). Temperament rank and novelty scores were correlated (Rs = +0.384, P < 0.02). Each pairing was classified according to temperament (Same, Different, Same-then-Different, Different-then-Same) and absolute difference between novelty scores. Chi-square tests on 34 initial pairings and 74 total pairings produced similar results. Fully compatible pairings (7/34, 13/74) were scored 1. Compatibility was not significantly associated with temperament similarity by either method, by sex (Male-Male, Male-Female, Female-Female), or when one animal was clearly dominant on the first day. NIH-RR00166.