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Date of Graduation
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Roshna Wunderlich
Arboreal primates are typically altricial, exhibit long juvenile periods, and use dynamic locomotor behaviors that can be challenging and risky. Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) have particularly slow life histories for their size, with long juvenile periods, protracted reproductive careers, and long life spans. Slow somatic growth poses potential mechanical challenges for juvenile sifaka who use thigh-powered vertical clinging and leaping to follow group members during travel. I examined mechanical and energetic costs of movement in developing sifaka. I instrumented 8 wild sifaka (3 yearlings, 3 subadults, 2 adults) in 4 social groups with inertial sensors measuring tri-axial acceleration for 1.5-8 weeks and collected simultaneous continuous behaviors on focal pairs. I quantified overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), frequency and magnitude of peak accelerations, percentage active time, leap counts, and activity budgets across age classes. Yearling sifaka exhibit higher and more peak accelerations than adult sifaka (p
Heslep, Nicholas, "Locomotion and life history in a leaping primate: Mechanics and energetics of movement throughout the Propithecus lifespan" (2023). Masters Theses, 2020-current. 217.
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