The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Withdrawn. Differences in owl monkeys (Aotus spp.): An examination of nesting site preference and behavioral budgets in three species of captive Aotus


Anthropology, Texas State University

Saturday All day, Park Concourse Add to calendar

Nesting behavior is uncommon in primates. Thus, for research facilities that house species requiring nesting sites, providing appropriate nesting materials as part of an environmental enrichment program is crucial to their psychological well-being. We recorded time budgets and examined differences in use of nesting sites between three owl monkey species: Azara’s owl monkey (Aotus azarai), Nancy Ma’s owl monkey (A. nancyma) and Spix’s owl monkey (A. vociferans), housed at University of Texas MD Anderson: Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research Core and Animal Resources, Bastrop, TX. We observed five family groups from each species ranging from 2-5 individuals. The facility provides four different types of nest boxes: [1] a mesh box, [2] a covered box of the same size, [3] a horizontal bucket, and [4] an opaque white box. As a nocturnal species, the owl monkeys are kept on a partial reverse light cycle and the rooms are equipped with louvers, allowing them to experience a “dusk” period in the lighting. We recorded their behavior before, during and after dusk to understand species’ differences. During daylight, most of their time is spent huddled together resting (A. nancyma 44.8%, A. azarai 44%, A. vociferans 43.9%) and A. nancyma (34.7%) and A. azarai (43.1%) spent most of their huddled on a perch while A. vociferans rested on the floor (35.7%). However, when a nesting box was employed, all species preferred the covered box (22.3%, 32.5% and 27.1%). We discuss differences in time budgets and the complexities of cage usage.

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