Abstract # 145:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 02:45 PM-05:15 PM: Session 15 (Regency East #3) Symposium


Primate aging, cross-taxon perspectives

S. Atsalis
Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
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     In captivity, nonhuman primates are living longer, reaching maximum lifespans and often experiencing complete cessation of reproduction years prior to death. Primate gerontologists have called for more studies on aging primates, captive and wild, noting the need for longterm monitoring of the aging process. Research on aging can contribute to comparative analyses between humans and other primates, and to understanding the special needs of all geriatric primates. In this symposium, we cover diverse topics associated with aged animals representing a broad range of primate taxa, from new world to old world monkeys, and apes. Wild populations, as well as captive are represented. The effects of aging as demonstrated through variability in fertility in free-ranging rhesus macaques will be described, as will the reproductive cycles and hormone profiles of captive female chimpanzees and lowland gorillas. Exhibiting the shortest lifespans of all anthropoid primates, a discussion of the life-history traits of callitrichid primates will draw special interest. In this symposium, reproductive aging in these small primates will be described, and the average longevity and maximum lifespan of callitrichids will be discussed in relationship to causes of death. A comparison of the behavior of aging female Hanuman langurs with those of Phayre’s leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus phayrei) will provide a rare glimpse into the aging patterns of wild colobines. Lastly, we gain important insights into the aging patterns of apes through the comparative gerontological perspective of the Great Ape Aging Project.