SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • androgens;
  • testosterone;
  • androstenedione;
  • dehydroepiandosterone;
  • Bolivian squirrel monkey

Abstract

The Bolivian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis) is a seasonal breeder. Male squirrel monkeys show distinct morphological and behavioral changes prior to and during the breeding season. A “fatting syndrome” includes increased body weight, increased levels of androgens, and in the Bolivian subspecies, an increasingly active role in the social organization of the group. In this study, the behavior of ten adult male Bolivian squirrel monkeys was analyzed over a 6-month period prior to, during, and after the breeding season. Each was housed as the only adult male in a breeding unit with six to ten adult females and one juvenile male. Employing a principle components method, 11 behavioral clusters were generated from 27 responses. Their activity clusters were identified as follows: sexual activity that showed a peak around the time of peak conceptions; excitatory activity that was initially high but decreased throughout the breeding season; and maintenance activity that did not change across the breeding season. The changing social behavior of the male squirrel monkey parallels physiological changes and is correlated with changing androgen levels.