Analysis of the Behavioral Time Allocations of Captive Cebus Apella from the Franklin and Marshall Vivarium
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Tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) are native to South America, thriving in tropical and subtropical forest climates. Other than these regions, C. apella can be found in multiple zoos and academic research labs throughout the world. In the United States, there are only four registered behavioral labs that house tufted capuchin monkeys, making behavioral data on captive capuchins scarce. This study utilized focal animal sampling methods on two captive tufted capuchin monkey colonies at the Franklin & Marshall College vivarium. The observations were then used to investigate the effects of multiple capuchin traits on the captive behavioral activity budgets for movement, feeding, resting, socializing, and other. I conducted a series of statistical analyses to determine the relationships between the proportion of time allocated to each behavior in regards to colony, age, sex, diabetes, dominance and captivity status (compared to a previous study done on wild capuchins). Diabetic status and dominance were the only traits found to affect any portion of the budget, specifically, socializing. This suggests that diabetic status and dominance are the main factors in determining how much time a tufted capuchin will allot to specific behaviors. The mean average feeding time for wild capuchins was much larger than for captive capuchins, and the mean average resting time was much less, however, no statistical analyses could be performed due to the absence of available raw data. Further studies with a greater number of subjects will need to be conducted to test if the visual, but not significant trends are solely due to the small sample size, or an actual lack of effect. In addition, more studies comparing captive and wild capuchin monkeys will need to be carried out to determine if the differences are quantitative as well as qualitative.