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!!!"
Monday, October 3, 2011
Vanessito is the brave protector of the group, who boldly patrols the borders of his territory in a periodic fashion each day, often vocalising in all four corners of his territory with or without the input of his loving (if not a little bossy) female, Isabel. He pays particular attention to the safeguarding of his family's beloved mango patch. This prime monkey real-estate is where my family like to spend the majority of their time, relaxing on the shaded branches (often for more than three hours at a time!) in the knowledge that they are surrounded by more mangos than they could possibly know what to do with. Such a bounty undoubtedly attracts the attention of other titi monkey families, and I'm looking forward to the turf battles that will undoubtedly ensue once the mangos are ripe. For now the only family allowed entry to the mango patch while Vanessito is nearby is G4, who's male, Casanova, is Vanessito's brother. G4 is a family of 6, with the newest addition being just a few weeks old. Since my family hasn't had a baby this year, it's nice to occasionally get a chance to watch this family interact with their little one.
Vanessito enjoying his hard earned mangos
Isabel is my feisty young female who, more often than not, will get her own way, a prime example being the grooming hierachy within the family. Several times now I have watched at Vanessito lay down across her 'lap' angling for a little attention from his partner. Sometimes Isabel will oblige, half-heartedly pulling at his fur a minute or so before quickly tiring of such things and switching places to recieve a much more thorough grooming from Vanessito. More recently Isabel showed similar discourtesies to her daughter; just a few days ago I watched as Luna was enjoying being groomed by Vanessito (always the doting dad) while Isabel rested, seemingly content, nearby. When the situation came to Isabel's attention she was quick to swoop in and take up Luna's spot in front of Vanessito. Despite these tendencies, Isabel does have a softer side, often resting tail-twined (the titi monkey characteristic that I find most endearing) with both Luna and Vanessito.
Isabel resting in the groups favourite mango tree, if I can't find my group I can be sure that they'll turn up here sooner or later!
Luna, the youngest of the group, is thought to have been adopted by Vanessito (along with her departed sister Sol) when he paired up with Isabel, after presumably seeing off a rival male. With no other juvenilles or sub-adults in the group, Luna has grown into an independent and courageous little monkey, often staying behind to feed a little longer while Vanessito and Isabel continue on through their territory. I have even witnessed her solo vocalising to a neighbouring chicken patch group, such is her nerve. It is usually Luna that alerts me to the familiy's presence; several times I have not realised that they are feeding right above my head while I scan the trees up ahead. Unaware of my close proximity I hear small alarm calls just above me and look up into the curious little black eyes of Luna, who, despite alarm calling never makes to move away.
|One big happy titi family!|
|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 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...|
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...)