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Primates

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 183–196 | Cite as

Social behaviour and infant carrying in a group of moustached tamarins,Saguinus mystax (primates: Platyrrhini: Callitrichidae), on Padre Isla, Peruvian Amazonia

  • Eckhard W. Heymann
Article

Abstract

The social behaviour of a group of eight moustached tamarins,Saguinus mystax, (five males, three females) was studied on Padre Isla in northeastern Peru. About 60% of all allogrooming was done by the two adult males in the group, and about 11% by a young adult female. All other group members groomed very little. The adult breeding female received more grooming than any other group member. After the death of the adult female (preyed upon by an anaconda) the amount of active allogrooming remained constant for all group members except for the young adult female, who increased her contribution to about 30%. Her preferred grooming partner was the subadult female, which generally screamed when being groomed by the young adult female and terminated grooming by going away. This kind of grooming relation is termed “forced grooming” and is interpreted as a possible social control mechanism. The young adult female groomed the adult males more often after the death of the adult female than before. This might have had the function of strengthening the social bond with the adult males and in obtaining the breeding position in the group. After the death of the adult female, the vulva of the young adult female grew to full adult size. Agonistic behaviour was less frequent than allogrooming. Most aggressive interactions (50%) originated from the subadult male of the group. The young adult female was the target of most of these aggressions. Extremely little aggression occurred between the three females. The young adult female was the only individual who tried to emigrate from the group during the study period. Her attempt to join a neighbour group failed due to rejection by all four members of this group. All group members participated in carrying an infant, but the adult males and the young adult female carried most frequently. Contribution to infant carrying varied with the infant's age.

Key Words

Moustached tamarin Saguinus mystax Social behaviour Social grooming Infant carrying 

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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eckhard W. Heymann
    • 1
  1. 1.Deutsches PrimatenzentrumGöttingenGermany

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