Thursday, May 24, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
You like it tight and bright
You are just as comfortable in hiking boots as high heels
Friday, November 25, 2011
“Hey Leanna,” I asked, “How often does your female nurse the baby?”
“Oh, I see her nursing once or twice a day” she replied.
Huh… That got me thinking.
We started talking about what Leanna’s female looks like when she’s nursing – baby in the front, back kind of arched, arms elevated a bit, face often looking down at the baby. Huh… That’s exactly what Pedro looks like when he’s holding the baby… You can see where this is going.
Did I really mix up an adult female monkey with a sub-adult male? Could I really be that dumb? So, we started discussing reasons why I could be right and reasons why I could be wrong. (In order to avoid confusion, the monkeys I refer to here as Pedro and Elena are those that I have been calling Pedro and Elena for the last two and a half months - although in reality, they may be switched).
In order to try and find out if I had made a mistake, I reread some of the previous blogs written about my monkey family. “Elena often decides when the group will move on and leads the way”. Well for me, this is usually Pedro’s role. “Pedro and Denito play while Elena and Vicente take care of all vocalizing matters”. This season however, I was finding that Pedro had been helping Vicente vocalize while Elena played with Denito. My investigation was just leading me to think more and more that I was wrong. The main thing holding me back was that Elena was noted as the most endearing and curious monkey with much more apathy towards humans. My Elena is definitely the most curious, she comes closer to me than all the others, and she is my favorite to watch. Pedro on the other hand, when he is not with his dad, is usually off on his own, far away from me. Out of all my monkeys, I feel like I am the least drawn to Pedro. He just isn’t quite as charming as the others (don’t tell him I said that!!! I still love him!!!...err her?).
The monkey I have been referring to as Elena
The monkey I have been referring to as Pedro
As a result of my continued confusion, my after-lunch goal was to take a look at their monkey “bits”, as Kim says. After all, they are supposed to be two different sexes. I returned to my group and found them resting in a sneaky spot. The good news is that they let me get pretty close. I got a good view of Elena and tried to snap some pictures to get a second opinion (yes, I now have photos of monkey bits on my hard drive, all in the name of science). Unfortunately, with my point-and-shoot, the pictures were nearly useless. I was pretty sure though, that this monkey was a female.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “How can she be having a hard time telling the difference between a male and a female? Shouldn’t the male be pretty obvious?” Again, using the words of my boss, the “male bits are unimpressive”. As Titi monkeys form monogamous pair bonds, impressive male bits are not as necessary as they would be in other polygynous relationships.
Tentative conclusion thus far: either I was right, or Pedro is actually Pedra. This idea was also mentioned by a previous GE researcher, so my mystery could be solved.
The next time I had a chance to see my monkeys, I brought my fellow researcher Chantelle with me. She has seen some pretty clear bits from Vanesito, and she has a better camera than I. This time, we got a decent view of both Pedro and Elena. In our amateur opinions, they are both females. Final thoughts: I mixed up my sub-adult and female, and my sub-adult is actually a girl. This situation will sure make for an exciting DNA analysis in the future. Good thing I have lots of poop samples!
Of course, being the absolute perfectionist/worry wart that I am, I panicked. Thoughts raced through my mind of me screwing up the entire analysis of my monkeys for this season. Holy cow! Once I calmed down and came to my senses, I realized that even if I am wrong, it isn’t too big of a deal. The two monkeys are unmistakable (once you know them), and I definitely took accurate data distinguishing between the two throughout my time here. So, if I was wrong, I simply have to change every F (for female) in my data, to an S (for sub-adult), and vice-versa. Thus, the only thing that was harmed with this possible mistake is my ego. Plus, because I have no job when I am done here, I will have lots of extra time to edit my data! Chalk it up to a rookie mistake…
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Caysita is easily identified by her dark face and the very dark grey color and slicked-straight look of her tail.
She's a fairly independent woman that regularly initiates duets, often takes the lead on moving camp, and likes her space. Though preferring to leave the parental care to the male, like other Titi housewives, Caysita has been seen carrying the smaller infant, Chang, more and more. However she outright runs from her own baby, Kim, when she tries to hitch a ride.
Bueno, let's move onto dad, meet Picaflor.
Now, I'm not one to judge the promiscuous ways other primate societies, but you should at least be a member of one of them if you are going to engage in that kind of behavior. That said, you have to feel for the guy when you see him lugging his two tots around. And it is Picaflor who is carrying them most of the time. I've seen the others take turns carrying one or the other infant, but the majority of the time they're with daddy.
Despite the scandalous circumstances, Veronica is quite unobtrusive most of the time. She also helps carry the infants, though she is quick to complain (whining, squeaking, twisting, and pulling at the infant on her back). Veronica also seems to take her cues to nurse from Caysita, often nursing the smaller infant right after Caysita takes the larger infant. I have not yet seen Veronica duet alone with Picaflor, Caysita continues to fulfill this role. Veronica will vocalize with the group, and even duetted with the subadult, Jack. At one point during some long, confrontational vocalization bouts with G4, Veronica disappeared, heading off towards another pair of duetting monkeys. Perhaps looking for greener grasses already?
Jack seems to be your typical titi son - helps with the duetting, sometimes takes on solos or continues vocalizations with one of the females if the male is not around or has stopped. He continues to stick close to the group, often trying to keep up with Caysita who moves further ahead to feed or find a shady place to rest. Jack is also one of the more vigilant individuals of the group, making it difficult for us monkey paparazzi!
Lastly, the cutie patooties!
Already climbing and playing in the lianas, Kim has earned a few bumps from falling out of a tree (4m up). Though this hasn't deterred her one iota and she continues to gallivant during resting and feeding times. Kim has been exhibiting much more feeding behavior recently - pulling at plants, biting stems and leaves.
Still quite small, enough that I frequently need to use binoculars to see who is carrying him when the group is high up in the canopy. I'm already seeing some sibling rivalry with Kim- a couple of times Chang has climbed onto Kim while both are on Picaflor's back. Though Caysita or Veronica will carry Chang, and I'm seeing Kim get around on her own during resting and feeding times. Can't wait to see what happens when we have two juveniles terrorizing the family - " But dad, Chang alwaaaaaaays get the branches with the most fruit!!!"