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Nilsson, Jenny, 2008. Mother-young interactions and suckling behaviour in Blue Monkeys, Cercopithecus mitis. SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health, Skara. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

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Abstract

The infant's first months are of vital importance for establishing relations with the mother as well as with other group members. It is also a period of learning. As a part of a larger study of the blue monkey, Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni, my study focuses on interactions between mother and offspring and suckling behaviour.

The study site was located in the forest of Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp which is a tourist lodge outside the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Data collection took place in July 2006 in collaboration with two other Swedish students and with the help of Maasai field assistants. The monkeys were observed on foot between 8:00 and 18:00 with a total observation time of 330 hours evenly spread between the ten observation hours. We could not recognize the animals individually but estimated the number of focal animals as eight mothers with offspring. While suckling behaviour was recorded continuously with regard to time and duration, general behaviour, playing and grooming was recorded each minute. My results show that the mothers had feeding peaks in the early mornings, at midday and in late afternoon. This was in contrast to the offspring's feeding rhythm whose suckling meals took place mainly in the late morning and early afternoon. The time the offspring spent foraging solid food was close to zero. The offspring spent a third of their time carried by the mother and a quarter of their time playing. Most of the playing was lone play; social play with other group members did occur but was not as common. The offspring were dependent of the mothers however very active in exploring the environment which shows both in amount of time playing and moving. The individuals in the group spent about 10 % of their daylight hours grooming each other. In general these results coincide with those of others studying guenons. I suggest though that some of the behavioural differences of the group may be due to the focal animals being lactating. Furthermore I believe that the habitat they live in, i.e. close to humans and somewhat more protected, is reflected in their behaviour. This corresponds with the low levels of antagonism observed.

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De första månaderna i en unges liv är mycket viktiga för att skapa en relation till sin moder och till andra gruppmedlemmar. Det är också en period som består av lärande. Som en del av en större studie av den blå markattan, Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni, fokuserar min studie på samspelet mellan moder och unge samt ungens dibeteende.
Studien ägde rum i den skog som omger turistlodgen Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp i utkanten av Masai Mara National Reserve i Kenya. Datainsamlingen genomfördes under fem veckor i juni och juli 2006 tillsammans med två svenska studenter och med hjälp av fältassisterande massajer. Aporna observerades 8.00-18.00. Observationsperioden gav totalt 330 timmar jämt fördelade mellan de tio observationstimmarna. Vi kunde inte identifiera individerna i gruppen men den uppskattades bestå av åtta mödrar med varsin unge. Dibeteendet registrerades kontinuerligt med information om klockslag och varaktighet. Det allmänna beteendet, lek och ansning noterades varje minut. Mina resultat visar att mödrarna hade födosökstoppar tidigt på morgonen, vid lunch och under sen eftermiddag. Detta stod i kontrast till ungens födosöksrytm där digivningarna främst ägde rum sent på morgonen och under tidig eftermiddag. Ungen letade och åt fast föda i obetydlig grad. Modern bar ungen en tredjedel av observationstiden och ungen lekte under en fjärdedel av tiden. Majoriteten av lektiden var ensamlek; sociala lekar med andra gruppmedlemmar var inte lika vanligt. Ungarna var beroende av mödrarna men ändå mycket aktiva i att utforska omgivningen.
Gruppmedlemmarna ansade varandra cirka 10 % av dagen. Detta resultat överensstämmer i det stora hela med andra studier av markattor. Emellertid tror jag att vissa av de beteendeskillnader som syns i resultatet i denna grupp av markattor beror på att flera av dem var lakterande. Dessutom tror jag att denna grupps habitat, d.v.s. med närheten till människor och med ökat skydd från predatorer, påverkar deras beteende. Detta överensstämmer med den låga nivån av antagonism som observerades.

Main title:Mother-young interactions and suckling behaviour in Blue Monkeys, Cercopithecus mitis
Authors:Nilsson, Jenny
Supervisor:Jung, Jens
Examiner:UNSPECIFIED
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:214
Year of Publication:2008
Level and depth descriptor:Other
Student's programme affiliation:Other
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:mother-young interaction, Blue Monkey, suckling behaviour
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-6839
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-6839
Subjects:SLU > (VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Animal ecology
Language:English
Deposited On:11 Sep 2017 14:49
Metadata Last Modified:13 Sep 2017 08:48

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