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Nguyen N.,California State University, Fullerton | Gesquiere L.,Princeton University | Alberts S.C.,Duke University | Altmann J.,Princeton University | Altmann J.,Institute for Primate Research
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2012

In mammals, maternal care is essential for offspring survival, yet individual differences in this care can dramatically affect offspring growth and development. Few studies have, however, investigated the sources, magnitude and consequences of naturally occurring interindividual variation in maternal care during the neonatal period. In this study, we examine several hormonal and nonhormonal predictors of naturally occurring variation in the mother-neonate relationship during the first 8. weeks of infancy in 34 wild baboon (. Papio cynocephalus) mother-infant dyads in Amboseli, Kenya. We use data on physical contact and suckling patterns to assess the quality of the mother-neonate relationship and to evaluate the extent to which variation in this relationship is predictable from perinatal ovarian steroids (i.e. faecal oestrogen and progesterone metabolites), previous infant care experience, maternal dominance rank and offspring sex. We found that newborn infants of more experienced mothers initiated higher rates of changes in mother-infant contact than newborns of less experienced mothers. However, at each level of maternal experience, newborn males initiated higher rates of changes in mother-infant contact than newborn females. Moreover, we found evidence suggesting that variation in suckling activity among daughters (but not sons) was predictable from maternal dominance rank and faecal oestrogen (fE) concentrations before birth. To our knowledge, our study provides the first evidence of (1) the influence of cumulative maternal experience on the mother-infant relationship and (2) the emergence of sex differences in the mother-infant relationship during the neonatal period in wild primates. Our results suggest that the well-documented sex differences in life history, behaviour and ecology in primates (and other social mammals) may originate very early in life. © 2012 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Source


Markham A.C.,Princeton University | Guttal V.,Princeton University | Guttal V.,Indian Institute of Science | Alberts S.C.,Duke University | And 3 more authors.
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology | Year: 2013

Intraspecific competition is a key factor shaping space-use strategies and movement decisions in many species, yet how and when neighbors utilize shared areas while exhibiting active avoidance of one another is largely unknown. Here, we investigated temporal landscape partitioning in a population of wild baboons (Papio cynocephalus). We used global positioning system (GPS) collars to synchronously record the hourly locations of five baboon social groups for ∼900 days, and we used behavioral, demographic, and life history data to measure factors affecting use of overlap areas. Annual home ranges of neighboring groups overlapped substantially, as predicted (baboons are considered non-territorial), but home ranges overlapped less when space use was assessed over shorter time scales. Moreover, neighboring groups were in close spatial proximity to one another on fewer days than predicted by a null model, suggesting an avoidance-based spacing pattern. At all time scales examined (monthly, biweekly, and weekly), time spent in overlap areas was greater during time periods when groups fed on evenly dispersed, low-quality foods. The percent of fertile females in social groups was negatively correlated with time spent in overlap areas only during weekly time intervals. This suggests that broad temporal changes in ecological resources are a major predictor of how intensively overlap areas are used, and groups modify these ecologically driven spacing patterns at short time scales based on female reproductive status. Together, these findings offer insight into the economics of territoriality by highlighting the dynamics of spacing patterns at differing time scales. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source


Markham A.C.,Princeton University | Alberts S.C.,Duke University | Alberts S.C.,Institute for Primate Research | Altmann J.,Princeton University | Altmann J.,Institute for Primate Research
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2012

In many social species, competition between groups is a major factor proximately affecting group-level movement patterns and space use and ultimately shaping the evolution of group living and complex sociality. Here we evaluated the factors influencing group-level dominance among five social groups of wild baboons (Papio cynocephalus), in particular focusing on the spatial determinants of dominance and the consequences of defeat. When direct conflict occurred between conspecific baboon groups, the winning group was predicted by differences in the number of adult males in each group and/or groups that had used the areas surrounding the encounter location more intensively than their opponent in the preceding 9 or 12 months. Relative intensity of space use over shorter timescales (3 and 6 months) was a poor predictor of the interaction's outcome. Losing groups, but not winning groups, experienced clear short-term costs. Losing groups used the area surrounding the interaction less following an agonistic encounter (relative to their intensity of use of the area prior to the interaction). These findings offer insight into the influences and consequences of intergroup competition on group-level patterns of space use. © 2012 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Source


Markham A.C.,Princeton University | Gesquiere L.R.,Princeton University | Bellenger J.-P.,Princeton Environmental Institute | Bellenger J.-P.,Universite de Sherbrooke | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2011

In immature wild savannah baboons (Papio cynocephalus), we observed symptoms consistent with copper (Cu) deficiency and, more specifically, with a disorder referred to as white monkey syndrome (WMS) in laboratory primates. The objectives of this study were to characterize this pathology, and test three hypotheses that (1) Cu deficiency may have been induced by zinc (Zn) toxicity, (2) it may have been induced by molybdenum (Mo) toxicity, and (3) cumulative rainfall during the perinatal period and particularly during gestation is an ecological factor distinguishing infants afflicted with WMS from non-WMS infants. During 2001-2009, we observed 22 instances of WMS out of a total 377 live births in the study population. Visible symptoms exhibited by WMS infants included whitening of the animal's fur and/or impaired mobility characterized by an apparent "stiffening" of the hindlimbs. Occurrence of WMS did not vary significantly by gender. However, among individuals that survived at least 180 days, WMS males had a significantly lower survivorship probability than non-WMS males. Zn/Cu ratios assessed from hair samples of adult female baboons were higher in females who had produced at least one WMS offspring relative to females who had not had a WMS offspring. This was true even when the hair sample was collected long after the birth of the female's afflicted infant. We consider this potentially indicative of a robust tendency for low Cu levels induced by elevated Zn intake in some individuals. No significant differences of Mo/Cu ratios were observed. Cumulative rainfall during gestation (~179 days) was 50% lower for WMS infants relative to non-WMS infants. In contrast, rainfall for the two classes of infants did not differ in the 180 days before conception or in the 180 days following birth. This finding highlights the importance of prenatal ecological conditions in healthy fetal development with regard to WMS. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


Langoi D.,Institute for Primate Research | Pavone M.E.,Northwestern University | Gurates B.,Firat University | Chai D.,Institute for Primate Research | And 2 more authors.
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2013

Objective: To determine the effect of inhibiting aromatase activity on endometrial lesion growth and aromatase expression in a baboon model of induced endometriosis. Design: Prospective study. Setting: Primate research institute. Animal(s): Sixteen olive baboons. Intervention(s): Sixteen olive baboons with induced endometriosis were examined with laparoscopy 10 months after disease inoculation. Animals in group 1 (n = 10) were treated with 1.25 mg/d of the aromatase inhibitor (AI) letrozole, and animals in group 2 (n = 6) were given a placebo for a total of 6 months. Main Outcome Measure(s): Total number of endometriotic lesions, morphology, and volume of lesions, as well as semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and quantitative polymerase chain reaction for levels of aromatase cytochrome messenger RNA were measured. Ovarian volumes were evaluated before treatment initiation and every 2 months during the study. Result(s): Treatment of group 1 animals with an AI significantly decreased lesion volume from baseline measurements, whereas the placebo-treated animals showed an increase in lesion volume. Aromatase messenger RNA levels in lesions in the AI-treated animals were significantly lower compared with the placebo-treated animals. Ovarian volumes were significantly increased at 6 months of AI treatment compared with pretreatment volumes. Conclusion(s): These findings suggest that suppression of aromatase cytochrome P450 may inhibit the in vivo growth of endometriotic lesions in baboons. ©2013 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Source

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