Abstract # 144:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 04:15 PM-04:30 PM: Session 13 (Parliament Room) Oral Presentation


Maternal Behavior and Infant Congenital Limb Malformation in a Free-ranging Group of Macaca fuscata on Awaji Island, Japan

S. E. Turner, L. Gould and D. A. Duffus
University of Victoria, Department of Anthropology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada
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     The relationship between maternal behavior and infant disability was studied in 12 mother-infant dyads for the first five weeks of infant life, in the free-ranging Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) group on Awaji Island, Japan, from May to September 2001. Congenital limb malformations are prevalent in this population, and as such carry implications for behavior and conservation. No differences were detected in maternal activity budgets, mother-infant physical contact, infant holding, and overall nursing and infant transport time between mothers of non-disabled infants, disabled infants who were able to cling to their mothers, and disabled infants whose limb structure prevented clinging. Mothers of infants with limb malformations severe enough to prevent normal clinging behavior, manually supported their infants during nursing and locomotion significantly more than other mothers. Increased support-carrying and support-nursing (ANOVA, P ≤ 0.05), and higher frequencies of gathering the infant into the ventral area (Kruskal-Wallis, P ≤ 0.05), suggest that mothers of extensively malformed infants may be investing more to facilitate the survival of their offspring and that infant disability appears to be influencing maternal behaviors in this population.