Collaborations with veterinary biologists

Collaborations with veterinary biologists

The latest paper by Pedro Mayor represents a new line of enquiry for the red uakari monkey project, and new information on uakari reproductive biology must be a good thing! It is also the first article resulting from new collaborations that will help us look at uakari health and reproduction and hopefully the reasons for the red face.

Functional Morphology of the Female Genital Organs in the Peruvian Red Uakari Monkey (Cacajao Calvus Ucayalii) Pedro Mayor, Mark Bowler Carlos, Lopez-Plana


Functional morphology may provide important information that could improve methodologies for the diagnosis of the reproductive phase of females, and develop assisted breeding techniques for wildlife. This study examined features of genital organs in 19 Peruvian red uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus ucayalii) females in different reproductive stages, collected from wild animals hunted for food by rural communities in the North-eastern Peruvian Amazon, in order to provide knowledge on the reproductive physiology of this species. All pregnant females delivered a single fetus at term, resulting in a rate of reproductive wastage of 20% of oocytes or embryos. The structures of the female reproductive organs of the red uakari are broadly similar to those of other New World primates, but within this group there are important differences related to menstrual bleeding, which is visible in some taxa, e.g. the woolly monkeys Lagothrix spp., but not others e.g. the howler monkeys Alouatta. Our results are not conclusive, but suggest a non-visible menstrual bleeding in the red uakari.  We did find different vaginal epithelium features in accordance with the reproductive state of the female, suggesting that vaginal cytology could be a successful methodology with which to characterise the estrous cycle of this species. This information may improve the development of assisted reproductive techniques in non-human primates.

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