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Saguinus oedipus in a Habitat of Brotherly Love

By: Haley Atkinson | Mentor: Frank Logiudice

Abstract

This observational study analyzes the social dynamic and agonistic behavior between the two youngest males in a captive troupe of cotton-top tamarins, Saguinus oedipus, found at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens located in Sanford, Florida. The troupe consists of a breeding pair, two sets of twins, and a set of triplets– totaling nine individuals. The study focuses on the second-youngest and youngest males in the troupe and how they interact with each other. S. oedipus possess certain social and communication behaviors. The main behaviors observed in this study are vocalizations and movements indicating aggression between the two males. This study concludes the cause of aggression is due to competition and lack of space. The patterns of agonistic behavior indicate either the second youngest would be pushed out or the youngest would leave the troupe if in the wild. Being confined in a zoo enclosure makesthe needed separation impossible. An additional enclosure is constructed during the study to lessen the already existing aggression. This measure works for a short time before hostile interactions increase in frequency again.

KEYWORDS: Saguinus oedipus; S. oedipus; cotton top tamarin; behavior; communication; aggression

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