Eating for two: Behavioral and environmental correlates of gestation length among free-ranging baboons (Papio cynocephalus)

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Variation in environmental conditions during pregnancy and differences in the feeding behavior of females during pregnancy were consistently associated with variation in gestation length among free-ranging yellow baboons, Papio cynocephalus, in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Females whose pregnancies ended during the wet season gave birth after shorter pregnancies than females whose pregnancies ended during the dry season. When rainfall is held constant, another source of variation in gestation length emerges. Females that spent progressively less time feeding over the course of their pregnancies gave birth after longer pregnancies than females that spent progressively more time feeding over the course of their pregnancies. These two factors, which provide rough indices of maternal nutritional status, accounted for a substantial fraction of the observed variation in gestation length among these female baboons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-602
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1986

Keywords

  • baboon
  • fetal development
  • gestation
  • nutrition
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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