US tab

Saguinus oedipus in a Habitat of Brotherly Love

By: Haley Atkinson | Mentor: Frank Logiudice


All aggressive behaviors exhibited by Ted seem to be random and unprovoked. There was no obvious sign of aggression towards Ted, such as Mini initiating an interaction, yet he acted in a very contradictory manner when Mini was nearby. Ted displayed submission vocalizations and behaviors only when Mini was close, but quickly portrayed hostile intentions and movements when they were closer together.

According to Dr. Savage, a researcher of S. oedipus for over 30 years, Mini appears to be the aggressor, and she points out that Mini does not need to perform any displays to be intimidating to Ted (Savage, pers. comm.). Since they are brothers, they are likely competing for the dominant male position between them. This is why Ted reacts in such an exaggerated way towards only Mini: Mini's presence is enough of a stimulus for Ted to counteract the behavior and defend himself or submit. Dr. Savage also indicated that Ted started secluding himself as a way of selfpreservation by taking extra measures to remove himself from troupe interactions.

The goal of this study was to determine the motive behind the agonistic behavior between Ted and Mini. The results conclude the aggressive behavior is a simple matter of competition and space. In the wild, a troupe of S. oedipus occupies a rather large territory and are able to join another group if needed (Neyman, 1977). A habitat consisting of two enclosures that measures roughly 2.7m x 3.9m x 2.7m (Enclosure A) and 2.4m x 2.4m x 2.4m (Enclosure B) may not be enough space for nine adult S. oedipus members.