Gombe Science Round Up

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Infant Fifti in Gombe National Park

Infant Fifti in Gombe National Park

Maternal Effects on Offspring Stress Physiology in Wild Chimpanzees

Events experienced in early life have been found to influence the development of an individual’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which in turn influences that individual’s reactions to stressors later in life. This study focused on whether maternal stress physiology in chimpanzee mothers was related to the stress physiology of their offspring.

In this study, researchers investigated to relationship between maternal dominance rank and non-invasive measure of her stress physiology (fecal glucocorticoid Metabolite (FGM) concentration) during pregnancy and early lactation. They then examined whether differences based on maternal rank were associated with dependent offspring stress physiology. To find whether there was a link found between maternal rank, FGM concentrations during gestation, and offspring stress physiology, click here.

About Author

Sarah Ruiz is a communications intern at the Jane Goodall Institute. She is currently studying science communication at the College of William and Mary and hopes to pursue a career as a journalist. She is interested in all branches of science, with a specific focus on issues of conservation and ecology.