Monday, October 3, 2011

What's GNew

Hello titi lovers!  My name is Leanna, and this season I have been/will continue to be following the GN family.  Up until recently, there was a little confusion regarding the names and territories of the titi groups at Yvaga Guazu...what we thought might be G4 was actually GN and G4 was actually what we had been calling GN...oy vey!  A few Skypes with Kim and a couple of photo comparisons later, we finally had it all figured out.  And I can now say with confidence that GN are my monkeys and my monkeys are GN.  For those of you unfamiliar with this particularly titi family, the GN clan consists of papa Daniel, mama Carmen, Kuara, Jasy, Esperanzo, plus a BRAND NEW BEAUTIFUL BOUNCING BABY TITI!

One big happy titi family!
Even though GN has five individuals (plus one infant), these past few weeks it has become a rare occurrence to see all five (plus infant) together in the same place at the same time.  It is, however, very common to see the male, female, and juvenile - Daniel, Carmen, Esperanzo - hanging out and resting and foraging together at most times of the day.  And I would say with confidence that the male carries our new infant about 85% of the time.  Other times, the infant is nursing with the female.  Plus there's also the few random times when the little baby climbs on to the juvenile's back.  But that never lasts long...that baby may be tiny, but the juvenile's not much bigger!  Little Esperanzo usually passes younger sibling back to dad after only a minute or so.

Baby on Daniel's back

The GN male, Daniel, is by far my favorite of the group.  During the whole G4/GN confusion, I started calling him Mufasa because of his red color and fluffy "mane."  Also I just really like "The Lion King."  At first, he didn't trust me.  At all.  He would do everything in his power to steer clear of me and my binoculars.  His favorite trick was to climb down to a lower level in the canopy and disappear into a viney thicket...clearly out of my visual reach.  Eventually, I gained his trust.  Or his apathy.  Not sure which exactly.  But either way, he doesn't seem to mind me or my binoculars or my camera now, even coming down to rest on a relatively low branch.  Perfect photo op - thanks Dan!

GN's handsome male, Daniel
Carmen is a different story.  She still doesn't seem to like me too much, despite the fact that we've been spending so much time together recently.  5-7 hours a day, 5 days a think she would've warmed up to me by now!  I'm sure I'll win her over eventually.  She spends the majority of her time with her male and juvenile, but it's not unusual to find her foraging solo in a Cecropia tree.  Hey girl, I totally get it - a woman needs her alone time, especially with a new baby in the house.  Do what ya gotta do, Carmen.  We'll be besties by December.

Carmen and Daniel vocalizing/tail twining

Our little titi juvenile, Esperanzo, has always been curious about me.  Coming down form the tree tops to look at me, jumping back and forth between branches right above my head, staring at me for extended periods of time.  Such a cutie.  Always wanting to play with mom and dad, never wanting to sit still and be groomed, this little monkey has a big personality.  Most times, he sticks pretty close to mom and dad, but there have been a few times of solo exploration by Esperanzo...never straying too far though.  There was one instance, when our male/female/juvenile trio was foraging on some Lauraceae fruits, and Daniel and Carmen continued down the trail without the little juvenile noticing.  They went all the way down past the soccer fields and across the fence before Esperanzo realized his parents were gone!  After a few desperate vocalizations on the part of the juvenile, mom and dad came back over the fence into Yvaga Guazu, and the reunited family happily rested in one of their favorite trees.

Crazy little Esperanzo...
The two GN subadults, Kuara and Jasy, are still a little bit of a mystery.  Okay, true confessions: I only know their names because I looked them up while typing this.  During the G4/GN mixup, when I first found out my monkeys were actually GN, I didn't know their names at all!  Even after I learned them, I couldn't ever actually remember their names.  So I started calling them Kahlua and Jazzy J.  Those nicknames have stuck least in my field notebook.  Anyway, these two are a mystery.  I barely ever see them!  I've probably seen them only 2-3 times with the rest of the family.  Most days they are off on their own doing their own thing.  I've seen them sneak off into G4 territory a few times, but I haven't followed them yet to see what they're doing over there.  During the morning vocalizations, I can often hear the subadults close by, calling with the male and female.  One time, I witnessed what I have now dubbed 'tri-vocalizing.'  So this 'tri-vocalizing' occurred during the peak of YG monkey chatter.  I could see all my monkeys - a rare occurrence in itself.  They were all relatively spaced out, my male and female about 20 m from my oldest subadult and about 20 m from the other subadult and juvenile.  A titi triangle, if you will. ALL the other groups were vocalizing - G4, GE, G1, G2, and all those other G's back there.  My oldest subadult, Kuara/Kahlua was the first to vocalize from GN, followed shortly thereafter by the male/female, and then by Jasy/Jazzy J (our little juvy Esperanzo stayed quiet).  One family vocalizing from three different locations -- tri-vocalizing.

It's only been two weeks of official data collection, but I'm already in love with GN.  Even though I don't get to see everyone all the time (Kahlua and Jazzy J - I'm talkin' to you), who and what I do get to see is both highly entertaining and educational.  I'm so excited to be here working with the Titi Monkey Project, and I can't wait to watch my new little titi baby grow up!  (PS tiny titi name TBD...)

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