The 85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2016)

Life History Variation in Strepsirrhine Primates from the Duke Lemur Center


Anthropology, University at Albany-SUNY

April 16, 2016 , Atrium Ballroom A/B Add to calendar

Much of the variation within mammalian life histories can be explained by body size and phylogeny. Allometric scaling of life history traits with life history related variables (LHRVs) is a fundamental technique for distinguishing traits that arise as a consequence of body mass (first-order trait) from traits that may vary between populations and environments (second-order traits). In this study, 6 life history traits from 26 captive strepsirrhine taxa at the Duke Lemur Center were analyzed to summarize the data and current understandings of life history variation in strepsirrhine primates through means of principal components analysis (PCA). This technique allows for the examination of uncorrelated variables (minor components) after eliminating body size as the confounding factor. Results show that 90.78% of the variation in 6 life history traits and 2 indices for maternal reproductive investment are accounted for in the first 3 principal components. PC1 is shown to represent a general size variable; high scores in this component are characteristic of large species with high neonatal weights. PC2 is primarily a developmental variable; high scores on this component are shown in genera with slow developmental rates such long gestation lengths and small litter sizes. PC3 is primarily a maternal investment variable; high scores on this component are shown in genera with lower amounts of maternal investment. Overall, this analysis shows the interspecific variation of life history traits within strepsirrhine primates and as well as a technique to distinguish first and second order life history traits.