Presentation Title

Get Your Groom On: Inducing Social Grooming to Boost Marmoset Well-Being

Presenter Information

Jennifer MurrayFollow

Advisor Information

Jonathon Clayton

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

26-3-2021 12:00 AM

End Date

31-3-2021 12:00 AM

Abstract

Marmosets are highly social primates who regularly engage in reciprocal social grooming, which helps to combat external stressors by modulating cortisol levels by facilitating social cohesion and well-being through the enhancement of social bonding. This expression of reciprocal social grooming is influenced by a variety of factors and may be an important indicator of animal welfare. Through this study, we aimed to determine whether interventions such as increased light intensity, heat lamps, and added enrichment would increase rates of social grooming behaviors and important welfare outcomes of grooming including measures of their physical appearance (fur condition) and behavioral and physiological (cortisol) markers of stress. We found differential behavioral and physiological responses to each of the interventions, suggesting that our data supports the idea that manipulating abiotic factors in the environment can result in changes of animal welfare. Determining which factors can directly enhance the rates of social grooming will lead to large improvements animal welfare in captive marmosets by non-invasively reducing their overall levels of stress. Further research will be needed to understand the long-term effects of these changes, whether these effects are mediated by other biological variables, and how habituation to the abiotic interventions can positively enhance animal welfare.

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Mar 26th, 12:00 AM Mar 31st, 12:00 AM

Get Your Groom On: Inducing Social Grooming to Boost Marmoset Well-Being

Marmosets are highly social primates who regularly engage in reciprocal social grooming, which helps to combat external stressors by modulating cortisol levels by facilitating social cohesion and well-being through the enhancement of social bonding. This expression of reciprocal social grooming is influenced by a variety of factors and may be an important indicator of animal welfare. Through this study, we aimed to determine whether interventions such as increased light intensity, heat lamps, and added enrichment would increase rates of social grooming behaviors and important welfare outcomes of grooming including measures of their physical appearance (fur condition) and behavioral and physiological (cortisol) markers of stress. We found differential behavioral and physiological responses to each of the interventions, suggesting that our data supports the idea that manipulating abiotic factors in the environment can result in changes of animal welfare. Determining which factors can directly enhance the rates of social grooming will lead to large improvements animal welfare in captive marmosets by non-invasively reducing their overall levels of stress. Further research will be needed to understand the long-term effects of these changes, whether these effects are mediated by other biological variables, and how habituation to the abiotic interventions can positively enhance animal welfare.