Rhesus Maternal Care in Relation to Population Growth, Awardin U.S. and Indian Currencies
Rodney Johnson Principal Investigator
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Description: This project supports Dr. Johnson for research work on rhesus monkeys, with an Indian scientist, Dr. (Mrs.) Iqbal Malik, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, India. They plan to study the maternal investment behavior and seek to identify the ecological and social factors, producing variability in the length and frequency of the infants' nursing bouts. Special attention will be paid to two factors; maternal time budgets and the availability of solid foods accessible to young infants. The current prediction is that mothers who allow infants to nurse more often or longer bouts delay the reproduction cycle and thus permit these youngsters to grow relatively older by the time they are weened. This is based on the assumption, known for human mothers, that their is a strong correlation between frequent nursing bouts of short duration and a prolonged lactational infertility. The research will be carried over two birth seasons by observing the rhesus monkeys within a natural free-ranging population in India. Scope: The two scientists have collaborated in the past on research in this field. The proposed work is timely and is likely to produce valuable results given the experience of the two collaborators in the field and their past record of publications. The research plan includes ecological and social influences on reproduction of primates and has important applications in wildlife management and in human reproductive behavior.