The programme looks at some contemporary research into sexual behaviour of rhesus monkeys, particularly differences in mating frequency of animals in the wild and those in captivity.
|Module code and title:
|SD286, "Biology, brain and behaviour"
|First transmission date:
|Restrictions on use:
|+ Show more...
|Neil Chalmers; Thomas Gordon
|BBC Open University
|Macaques monkeys; Primates; Rhesus monkeys; Yerkes primate center
|Several film shots of stumptail rhesus monkeys. Commentary by Neil Chalmers introduces the programme. Neil Chalmers goes on to discuss seasonality and menstrual cycle as two aspects of the timing of copulation among rhesus monkeys. An animated graph shows frequency of copulation against number of days of the menstrual cycle. Over shots of several rhesus monkeys in a corral, Neil Chalmers points out some of the signals, such as behavioural changes and changes in colouration which indicate that the female is ovulating and is ready for mating. A pair of rhesus monkeys in a cage are observed. The female is not in midmenstrual cycle, yet the pair copulate frequently. Commentary contrasts this behaviour with that of the same pair in the much less restrictive condition of the corral where they ignore each other. Shots of monkeys in a corral. Tom Gordon, at the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Georgia U.S.A. explains how they try to make the environment for their monkeys as close as possible to the animals' natural environment. He points out that the seasonal mating patterns of the rhesus monkeys here are the same as those observed in rhesus monkeys in the wild. Film of rhesus monkeys at Yerkes during experiments conducted in near normal environmental conditions for the animals. Gordon explains how animals are trained to feel at ease during the experiments. Tom Gordon summarises the results of the studies on rhesus monkey copulatory behaviour under the near normal environmental conditions at the Yerkes Center. An animated graph plots the frequency of copulation against the female menstrual cycle. The results match very closely those observed among rhesus monkeys in the wild. In order to try to discover why confined conditions in the laboratory test cages have such a profound effect on copulation experiments were carried out at Yerkes which deliberately manipulated space as a variable. Shots of the monkeys in the corral, in test cages and in the corral again. Kim Wallen, who carried out the experiments on using space as a variable, summarises the results. Shots of monkeys as he talks. The programme goes on to look at experiments at Yerkes which examined the effect of rank in a group of monkeys on mating behaviour. In these experiments talapoin monkeys were used. Animated diagrams and film clips of monkeys copulating. Finally the programme goes on to look at the results of some experiments with stumptail macaques which indicated that, unlike other species of monkeys there seems to be no relationship at all between ovarian hormones and sexual behaviour. To end the programme, Tom Gordon and Kim Wallen speculate on the relevance of these studies to human sexual behaviour.
|Master spool number:
|Available to public: