November 13, 2011

Monkey Tales

I have been woefully remiss in updating my blog! So now, for your monkey pleasure, here is some recent drama from Pelon group, with whom I have spent most of this month.

Love: There's a female named Brava who has had an epic romance with Jorge for years (he's subordinate to the alpha male Oden, who is supposed to get all the matings as an alpha. Reproductive skew is about 95% in capuchins). A couple days ago, Brava and Jorge disappeared for the whole morning! The whole group spazzed out when they showed up again. They spent the rest of the day grooming each other (and males hardly ever groom females), and Brava's son Bedlam was always near them. It was so freaking adorable. Except when there was stepdad-stepson tension, and Jorge threatened Bedlam. Whom would Brava choose??? Apparently she is conflicted, because she would switch back and forth between supporting her lover and her son. Confusing for everyone involved.

War: Yesterday I was with Pelon group when they had a triple intergroup! They ran into both Cupi's and Abby's groups and spazzed out. They sprinted back through a patch of bamboo and I lost the group. Then I heard them intergrouping again in the middle of the impenetrable bamboo area. Teresa, the other researcher I was with, had been with the fighting males but ran into Amiens, an ANCIENT female from the group. Amiens is basically senile and deaf at this point. Teresa stayed with Amiens for 2 hours, as she got more and more lost. She made nonstop lost calls (horrible screechy brays) and ran around in circles. Eventually Teresa dropped her to help me search for the rest of Pelon group. I found them about 3 hours later after searching through the jungle. We were kind of nervous about Amiens, because she's so old and we left her about 2 km away from where I found Pelon. At around 4:30 we start hearing distant lost calls. They got closer and closer, until Amiens finally appears! She immediately starts eyeball poking with her buddy Tamora, the second oldest female in the group. Tamora and Amiens sit with blissed out expressions, fingers in eyes, for about 5 minutes. Old lady love.

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