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February 22nd, 2006

eighth + ninth speakers

This evening's guest lecture was courtesy of Dr. Toni Ziegler from the National Primate Research Center and Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her presentation was called, "She Can Lead Him Around By The Nose: The neuroendocrine responsiveness of male cooperative breeding monkeys to female scent signals" and focused on the hormone analysis of males in different social settings within populations of Cotton-Top Tamarins and Common Marmosets at their laboratory. Testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol were all easily recognizable, but after the lecture was over a group of students from the Anthropology Club gathered together and none of us could remember hearing about LH prior to this evening. However, we all agreed that there was a good chance it was an abbreviation for something so basic that we'd feel extremely dumb asking about in public, so we all kept quiet during the question and answer period following the lecture. It turns out that LH is, in fact, Luteinizing Hormone, although it took a search on the internet to find that information.

From the research gathered by Dr. Ziegler it looks like male tamarins and marmosets are very responsive to female scent marking and go through a period of 'sympathetic pregnancy' at the same time as their mates - bulking up their fat stores to ensure they'll have the ability and energy to spend on rearing the infants once they're born. Both species give birth to twins, and the males also play a very active role in helping care for offspring - often carrying two, three, or even four children at once to afford the female some time on her own. However, this is only in response to females in which a pair-bond has been formed. If a different female comes by and places a scent marking in range of the male he's likely to ignore it if his partner is also present, although whether this is due to genetics or a cultural adaptation wasn't a focus in their research.

In Reverse Order: Number EightCollapse )

no answer

I think I might have failed my archaeology exam this morning. Or scored a [ C- ], which isn't all that different. On the other hand, my America Before Columbus class has taught me the most efficient way to skin and process all the meat from a buffalo should I ever need to perform such a feat. Barbecue at my place this weekend? Two of the exams I took last week in my other anthropology classes were handed back yesterday; I scored a 96% on one and a 98% on the other.

Wendy called me not too long ago. She expected me to be at a café waiting for Violet to finish with work, and the idea of doing homework over there tomorrow isn't such a bad idea. Odd how a room full of people talking late at night is much more conducive to studying then sitting at home by myself in the middle of the afternoon. The fact that they greet me by name and automatically know what to make me could be a sign that I've spent too much time there already, but I've seen too many episodes of Cheers to find it strange. During our conversation I hinted to Wendy that I had a question to ask her - "There was something I forgot to say on Friday. Do you like me?"

Her response?
"No answer."