Tuesday, October 25, 2011

These are not the monkeys I'm looking for...

Last week, I thrice encountered an unfamiliar titi group.  The first two times I saw them, there were two individuals: one larger and with more red coloration, the other smaller and more grey.  Then on Saturday, when I located them for the third time, I noticed an additional group member.  As previously mentioned (see True Life: I’m a Scientist), my original thought was that I had come across the remaining GN offspring.  But I ruled against that due to the display of aggressive behavior.  And now, with the appearance of a third strange monkey – similar in size to the larger individual, but much less red – I’m even more confident in saying that this group is not my GN leftovers.  My second thought was that this group might be G4, GN’s neighbors towards the back of Yvaga Guazu.  We know that G4 has a baby this season, so when I didn’t see any of the individuals carrying an infant, I opted out of the G4 theory.  Other than GN and G4, there really aren’t any other titi groups that occupy that area.  So who are they?  That’s a very important question.  That’s also a question for which I do not currently have the answer.

Today, when I couldn’t find GN, I decided to seek out these unknown titis, hoping to gather some photographic evidence to support my non-GN claim.  And I found them.  Resting atop a viney thicket in their most recent vocalizing vicinity.  There are definitely at least three members in the group.  Maybe four, but because of their location and the position of the sun, it was difficult to judge accurately.  I also noticed an infant climbing in and around the vines.  It’s possible that I just didn’t notice the infant when I saw them last week, but it’s also possible that the infant was with this fourth group member (that is, if I’m correct in my assessment).  They didn’t seem scared or timid or bothered by me at all, with the smaller monkey - definitely a juvenile – even coming down to a lower limb to get a closer look at me.

Just a few of these unfamiliar titis.

These past two days have been afternoon shifts, which tend to be quiet and relatively uneventful (lots of resting, little bit of foraging).  Tomorrow morning I’ll be interested to see if GN and these other titis engage in another vocal bout similar to last week.  Maybe this group is why my GN family is spending more time away from that area.  But then, why would I just now be noticing this strange group?  And why would the aggressive behaviors have just started?  Now that I’ve seen an infant, is this actually G4?

FUN SCIENCE FACT #17:  Porcupines float in water.  

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