South American night monkeys (genus Aotus) are the only nocturnal simian primates. Early activity recordings in North Colombian A. griseimembra monkeys kept under semi-natural conditions and extensive chronobiological studies carried out in laboratory settings revealed a strictly nocturnal behavior and strong activity enhancing (disinhibiting) effects of moonlight or corresponding luminosities during the dark time. To check whether the results from captive individuals correspond to the behavior of wild monkeys, we carried out long-term activity recordings of a wild female A. griseimembra in a tropical rainforest near San Juan de Carare, Northern Colombia. Our data from about 150 days of continuous activity records with an “Actiwatch Mini” (CamNtech, UK) accelerometer-data logger device, confirmed: (1) strictly nocturnal behavior, (2) a pronounced bimodal activity pattern with prominent peaks during dusk and dawn, and (3) a lunar periodic modulation (masking) of the night monkey’s circadian activity rhythm due to distinct activity inhibiting effects of the absence of moonlight throughout the night. The results from this wild-living tropical night monkey are consistent with those from captive conspecifics studied decades earlier.

Direct Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2021.1903029

Journal: Chronobiology International. 2021 Mar 28:1-6

Keywords: Chronobiology, circadian activity rhythm, light masking, lunar cycle effects, nocturnal simian primates, owl monkey, veterinary,

Applications: Veterinary,

CamNtech Reference: AM21002

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