Hormonal correlates of ontogeny in baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) and mangabeys (Cercocebus atys)

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Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between serum hormone levels and morphometrics during ontogeny in olive baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) and sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys), to test hypotheses about the endocrine regulation of species size differences. First, we expect that levels of hormones and binding proteins predict size change during ontogeny in both species. Second, a high level of integration among the hormones and binding proteins analyzed is expected, with the implication that they act in combination to influence the development of body size and shape. Utilizing a mixed longitudinal sample, we compare change in 18 different measurements, which reflect overall size growth as well as growth in length and circumference, with levels of six growth-related hormones and binding proteins. We examine the relationship between hormone and binding protein levels and morphometrics, using multivariate analyses and “arithmetically-estimated” velocity curves of hormones, binding proteins, to characterize how the endocrine factors analyzed relate to growth. Results suggest that levels of these endocrine factors can be used to predict local and overall growth during ontogeny and that integration between multiple hormone axes is indicated. While important for growth in both species, ontogenetic changes in hormone and binding protein levels are more tightly correlated with changes in morphometric measurements in baboons than mangabeys. These results have important implications for understanding why some smaller-bodied species have higher absolute growth-related hormone levels than larger-bodied species. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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