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dc.contributor.authorSmith, Tanya M
dc.contributor.authorAustin, Christine
dc.contributor.authorHinde, Katie
dc.contributor.authorVogel, Erin R
dc.contributor.authorArora, Manish
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-04T01:00:27Z
dc.date.available2018-05-04T01:00:27Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.identifier.issn2375-2548
dc.identifier.doi10.1126/sciadv.1601517
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10072/338528
dc.description.abstractNursing behavior is notoriously difficult to study in arboreal primates, particularly when offspring suckle inconspicuously in nests. Orangutans have the most prolonged nursing period of any mammal, with the cessation of suckling (weaning) estimated to occur at 6 to 8 years of age in the wild. Milk consumption is hypothesized to be relatively constant over this period, but direct evidence is limited. We previously demonstrated that trace element analysis of bioavailable elements from milk, such as barium, provides accurate estimates of early-life diet transitions and developmental stress when coupled with growth lines in the teeth of humans and nonhuman primates. We provide the first detailed nursing histories of wild, unprovisioned orangutans (Pongo abelii and Pongo pygmaeus) using chemical and histological analyses. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to determine barium distributions across the teeth of four wild-shot individuals aged from postnatal biological rhythms. Barium levels rose during the first year of life in all individuals and began to decline shortly after, consistent with behavioral observations of intensive nursing followed by solid food supplementation. Subsequent barium levels show large sustained fluctuations on an approximately annual basis. These patterns appear to be due to cycles of varying milk consumption, continuing until death in an 8.8-year-old Sumatran individual. A female Bornean orangutan ceased suckling at 8.1 years of age. These individuals exceed the maximum weaning age reported for any nonhuman primate. Orangutan nursing may reflect cycles of infant demand that relate to fluctuating resource availability.
dc.description.peerreviewedYes
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science
dc.relation.ispartofpagefrome1601517-1
dc.relation.ispartofpagetoe1601517-8
dc.relation.ispartofjournalScience Advances
dc.relation.ispartofvolume3
dc.subject.fieldofresearchBiological (physical) anthropology
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode440103
dc.titleCyclical nursing patterns in wild orangutans
dc.typeJournal article
dc.type.descriptionC1 - Articles
dc.type.codeC - Journal Articles
dcterms.licensehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
dc.description.versionVersion of Record (VoR)
gro.facultyGriffith Sciences, Environmental Futures Research Institute
gro.rights.copyright© 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.
gro.hasfulltextFull Text
gro.griffith.authorSmith, Tanya M.


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