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Keywords:

  • energy intake;
  • energy expenditure;
  • pregnancy;
  • lactation;
  • plants;
  • prey

Abstract

Callitrichid females are often described as energetically constrained. We examined the energy budgets of 10 female wild golden lion tamarins (GLTs, Leontopithecus rosalia) in an effort to understand how energy intake and expenditure might influence physical condition and therefore reproductive performance. We used focal animal sampling to record behavioral data and conducted energy analyses of foods consumed by GLTs to estimate intake and expenditure. We used two-tailed Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to compare intake in the reproductive vs. nonreproductive period and expenditure in the reproductive vs. nonreproductive period. Energy intake decreased during the reproductive period compared to the nonreproductive period. While total expenditure did not vary significantly across the two periods, females spent more time and therefore expended significantly more energy engaged in energetically inexpensive behaviors (i.e., sleeping or being stationary) during the reproductive period compared to the nonreproductive period. We suggest that reproductive female GLTs may adopt a reproductive strategy that includes high intake prior to pregnancy and lactation, and energy conservation during pregnancy and lactation. Am. J. Primatol. 68:1037–1053, 2006.© 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.