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Fecal concentrations of cortisol, testosterone, and progesterone in cotton-top tamarins housed in different zoological parks: relationships among physiological data, environmental conditions, and behavioral patterns

By S. Fontani, S. Vaglio, V. Beghelli, M. Mattioli, S. Bacci, P. A. Accorsi

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Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to study the welfare of 3 captive groups of cotton-top tamarins housed in different zoological parks. Ethological observations were conducted during 1 year. In addition, fecal samples were collected and the concentrations of glucocorticoids, androgens, and progestogens were measured. Within each group, no significant differences in fecal cortisol concentrations were found between subjects. The fecal concentrations of testosterone and progesterone significantly differed depending on the sexes and ages of the tamarins. A significant association was found among hormone concentrations, exhibit dimensions, and group composition. A highly significant correlation was found between all hormones considered and the space available for each subject. Significant differences in behavioral patterns were observed among groups, including social-individual, affiliative-aggressive, and anogenital-suprapubic scent marking. Correlations between hormone measurements and behaviors were detected. In conclusion, this study confirmed the associations between some behaviors exhibited by these nonhuman primates and both cortisol and testosterone; these data also highlight the role played by progesterone in these behaviors.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 228-252
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2014.916173
Language English
Author Address Laboratory of Anthropology-Department of Biology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.stefano.vaglio@durham.ac.uk
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Tags
  1. Androgens
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal physiology
  4. Animal reproduction
  5. Animals
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Biochemistry
  8. Embryology
  9. Environment
  10. Gardens
  11. Glucocorticoids
  12. Hormones
  13. Hydrocortisone
  14. Mammals
  15. Monkeys
  16. parks
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Primates
  19. Progestogens
  20. testosterone
  21. vertebrates
  22. Zoo and captive wild animals
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  1. peer-reviewed