Physical Geography and Sciences



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Sheana Ramcharan, ANT 322: Research Methods in Primatology
Faculty Mentor: Professor Julie Wieczkowski, Anthropology

For primates in captivity, it is important to maintain natural social organization, which meets the social needs of the animals and can keep them healthy, as they are no longer in their natural environment. Leontopithecus rosalia (golden lion tamarin) are monogamous primates. In golden lion tamarins, studies have found that the males are more responsible for maintaining proximity to the female and for grooming the females more often. I studied a pair-bonded couple of golden lion tamarins in the Eco-station exhibit at the Buffalo Zoo in order to understand the roles that grooming and proximity play in their monogamous relationship. Thirty-minute focal animal samples were used to record proximity, and behavior every one-minute and 10-minute all occurrences samples were used to record approaching and leaving events. Results indicated that the adult male, Lua, groomed the adult female, Matea, more often (72.4 % of the time) than she groomed him. The results also reflected that Lua was more responsible for maintaining proximity to Matea (+36 on the Hinde Index scale). This knowledge of the relationship between the male and female golden lion tamarins is useful for maintaining their health while in captivity. By understanding how and why the male is more responsible for the relationship between the pair-bonded tamarins, we can place them in suitable environments that meets the needs of them being in proximity and grooming.

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Proximity and Grooming Behaviors in Golden Lion Tamarins
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