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Saguinus oedipus in a Habitat of Brotherly Love

By: Haley Atkinson | Mentor: Frank Logiudice

Materials and Methods

This observational study was conducted with a troupe of S. oedipus found at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens located in Sanford, Florida. This troupe consists of a codominant breeding pair, two older sets of twins, and a younger set of triplets. Table 3 summarizes the names, ages, and identifying characteristics of each individual. The focal subjects of this study are Ted and Mini. Ted is the oldest in the triplet and is easily identified by the scars on his forehead (Figure 3a) and by being the smallest member of the troupe. Mini is a little harder to identify with only a small lip deformity, resulting in his mouth looking slightly open at all times (Figure 3b).

Table 3. Members of S. oedipus at CFZ Adults are over 24 months of age, sub-adults are between 12 and 24 months, juveniles are between six and 11 months, and infants are zero to six months (Caperos et al, 2011). The identifying characteristics are taken from the keeper's identifier sheet.

Observations were conducted from January to April two to three times a week for twelve weeks, totaling 23 surveillance periods. The duration of each surveillance lasts between one and two hours (mean: 1.70 hours). At the start of this study, all troupe members were observed with anything of interest being written down. Penned observations ranged from something as simple as pulling a leaf through the cage to play with it to very hostile interactions among individuals.

After week one and before Enclosure B was constructed, a GoPro video camera and microphone were set up in front of Enclosure A to record observation periods. When a behavior of interest occurred, the time of occurrence was noted so it could be located in recordings for analysis at a later time.

Figure 3. (a) Main subject Ted can be identified by the scars on his forehead.

Figure 3. (b) Main subject Mini can be identified by his lip deformity.

The terms attack, fight, and wrestling will be used interchangeably but all these terms indicate body-tobody contact with varying degrees of aggression. Any other contact made between Ted and Mini will be specified.

Results >>