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Monogamy in Owl Monkeys of the Argentinean Chaco: Demography, Behavior and Genetics (on-going)
Field Study in the Americas
Web Site:
Location of Site: ARGENTINA, Formosa, Estancia Guaycolec

Director: Dr. Eduardo Fernandez-Duque
Phone: 001-215-898-1072   E-Mail:
431 University Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 UNITED STATES
Department: Anthropology
Institution: University of Pennsylvania

Research Objectives: The mirikina (local name for owl monkeys, A. azarai) is the only Neotropical primate that is monogamous and cathemeral (i.e. shows periods of activity during the day, as well as during the night). The goal is to examine their social organization using demographic, behavioral, and genetic data. The specific research objectives for the period 2007-2009 are to evaluate three non-exclusive hypotheses to explain the maintenance of social monogamy. To test the hypothesis that females are a dispersed resource that males cannot monitor effectively, the researchers will evaluate the quality of territories as indicated by food resources and infant production and the use females make of the available food resources. The second hypothesis, which states that social monogamy arises when female reproductive costs are lessened by male care/services will be examined by studying the potential impact of infant carrying on males̫̉ body mass, the effects of the removal of male care in the femalẻ̫s reproduction, and sex differences in predator avoidance responses. Finally, to test the hypothesis that social monogamy results when males guard individual females and females compete over preferred males, this study will evaluate responses of males and females to potential intruders and the existence of female reproductive synchronicity.

Field Positions and Volunteers: We anticipate having assistantships available during 2007-2009 as part of an NSF-sponsored project. Positions have already been filled through early 2008. Interested volunteers should contact Eduardo Fernandez-Duque

Species Studied: Aotus azarae (Azara's owl monkey)

Other Species at Site: Alouatta caraya (black-and-gold howler)

Last Updated: 2007-03-03

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