Ruby S & Buchanan-Smith HM (2015) The effects of individual cubicle research on the social interactions and individual behavior of brown capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella). American Journal of Primatology, 77 (10), pp. 1097-1108. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.22444
Primates are increasingly being tested individually in purpose-built research centers within zoos. The voluntary nature of research testing indicates that participation is enriching for the primate subjects, but previous studies have generally focused only on stress-related behavior, indicating that the research does not have a negative effect. Few data are available on the effects that individual research may have on social behavior, yet given primates' complex social lives and their responses to how conspecifics are treated, it is important to determine whether individual testing impacts upon their social interactions. The current study compared the social and individual behavior of 11 brown capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella) between three conditions: (1) directly after undergoing individual testing, (2) a control, and (3) upon returning to the group having voluntarily left. The results indicate that individual and stress-related behaviors were affected very little by individual research testing and that social behaviors increased. However, although affiliative interactions were enhanced, aggressive interactions were also seen to increase in the condition following individual testing compared with the return to group condition. Suggestions for minimizing the negative interactions are given. Provided that these suggestions are taken into account by researchers, our results provide support for developing research centers within zoos given the important findings emerging on our closest living relatives, combined with the potentially positive effects the research has on their welfare.
American Journal of Primatology: Volume 77, Issue 10
|Publication date online||14/07/2015|
|Date accepted by journal||16/06/2015|