Locomotion of free-ranging golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) at the National Zoological Park

Authors

  • Brian J. Stafford,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, New York
    2. Department of Zoological Research, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
    • Department of Anthropology, Hunter College, CUNY, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021
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  • Alfred L. Rosenberger,

    1. Department of Zoological Research, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
    2. Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Benjamin B. Beck

    1. National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
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Abstract

Locomotor behavior and substrate use of cage-reared golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia), newly released and free-ranging on the grounds of the National Zoological Park, were studied to determine if locomotion changed following exposure to naturalistic conditions. The animals employed a predominantly quadrupedal locomotor profile, incorporating leaping and vertical climbing to a lesser degree. There was no clear evidence of a change in locomotion due to the high degree of variability in these behaviors. The locomotor repertoire of the free-ranging group differed from that of groups occupying unenriched but relatively large conventional enclosures, indicating that whereas locomotion is plastic with respect to environment, substrate characteristics influence locomotor behavior and may promote stereotypical behavior. However, due to anatomical constraints, the locomotor repertoire tended to be less variable than substrate use. Similar behaviors were used in moving through a variety of habitat features in spite of strong associations between specific locomotor styles and substrate classes. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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