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Keywords:

  • behavioral endocrinology;
  • field endocrinology;
  • noninvasive methods;
  • social and reproductive strategies;
  • development;
  • field studies

Abstract

The papers in this issue were inspired by a symposium we organized for the 27th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists, held in June 2004. The purpose of the symposium was to highlight some of the new ways in which noninvasive techniques for measuring steroids are being employed to investigate the relationships between hormones and behavior in wild primates. Endocrinological data from the field provide new insights and more precise interpretations of behavioral data on topics ranging from social and reproductive strategies to seasonality, reproductive suppression, concealed ovulation, and development. Advances in the development of methods for extracting steroids from urine and feces have increased the options available to field workers, who can now select the most appropriate methodology for their study subjects, field conditions, and specific research questions. Field-based studies of behavioral endocrinology have spread to include a wide diversity of primate species. As the scope of these studies continues to grow, we anticipate the emergence of a dynamic new field in which comparative models of primate behavioral endocrinology contribute new perspectives on primates. Am. J. Primatol. 67:1–4, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.