Document Detail

Costs of infant-carrying in the cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10333430     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Infant-carrying behavior among callitrichids seems to be a costly activity. Costs have been related to the physical efforts of carrying the weight of very heavy infants and to the resulting reduction in foraging efficiency. However, the costs of carrying in terms of the physical consequences for carriers have not previously been assessed. In this study, we have regarded weight loss in infant carriers as a measure of costs. We studied five families of cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) during the first 9 weeks following the birth of infants. Captive-breeding conditions were required so that body weight could be measured frequently. To avoid inflicting undue stress on the subject animals, we used a noninvasive method for weighing the tamarins. Differences in carrying contribution were found amongst fathers and male and female helpers, with female helpers contributing less. We have found that carrying infants in the cotton-top tamarins is an activity that produces a weight loss. Fathers and male helpers go through a maximal body weight loss. While carrying, the tamarins also decrease food intake. However, no relationship was found between contribution to carrying and feeding time or in energetic intake during feeding observations. Thus, it seems that a direct relation doesn't exist between the observations of feeding and weight loss. Fathers increase their contribution to carrying during mothers' periovulatory periods. In this period, male helpers and especially fathers go through a maximal body weight loss. We found body weight losses of up to 11.3% in one subadult male and 9.1% in a father during the fifth week. No changes occurred in food intake in fathers or other male helpers during this period. During periovulatory periods, mothers carried less frequently but did increase their food intake. They gained weight from the second week after birth onward, especially during the periovulatory period. It seems that the infant-carrying behavior of fathers and male helpers may contribute to the improvement of the mothers' physical condition after birth and therefore may support a consecutive pregnancy.
S Sánchez; F Peláez; C Gil-Bürmann; W Kaumanns
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of primatology     Volume:  48     ISSN:  0275-2565     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Primatol.     Publication Date:  1999  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-06-21     Completed Date:  1999-06-21     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108949     Medline TA:  Am J Primatol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  99-111     Citation Subset:  IM    
Area de Psicobiología, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal*
Energy Metabolism*
Maternal Behavior / physiology*
Saguinus / physiology*
Weight Loss

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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