Preliminary study of mother–offspring conflict in black and gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya)

Abstract

Parent–offspring conflict has been scarcely studied in Neotropical primates. In this study, we explored mother–offspring conflict in a group of wild black and gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya) in northeastern Argentina. We used the all-occurrences technique to record behaviors, completing 712 h of observation. The results showed that all immature individuals between 2 and 23 months expressed conflict with regard to suckling or traveling with their mothers. Successful suckling attempts negatively correlated with the age of the immatures, occurring least frequently with the presence of newborns. In the juvenile period, the decline in successful attempts was a consequence of juveniles reducing suckling attempts and mother rejection.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the Centro de Capacitación Comunitaria of Isla Cerrito for logistic support. We are very grateful to all field assistants that helped us in data collection. We thank Melissa Raguet for valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This study was supported by the National Council of Research and Technology of Argentina (CONICET) (S.P.) and the American Society of Primatology (S.P.).

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Correspondence to Romina Pavé.

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Pavé, R., Kowalewski, M.M., Peker, S.M. et al. Preliminary study of mother–offspring conflict in black and gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya). Primates 51, 221–226 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10329-010-0189-3

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Keywords

  • Alouatta caraya
  • Parent–offspring conflict
  • Mother–infant interactions
  • Nursing