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No monkeying around here; South Coast researcher gets grant to study sex lives of squirrel monkeys

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Anita Stone
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California Lutheran University
The family lives of Brazilian Squrrel monkeys are the focus of research by a California Lutheran University professor, who received a National Science Foundation grant for the ongoing project.

Cal Lutheran researcher will take students to Brazil to study monkeys.

A South Coast university has received the largest National Science Foundation grant in its history to support research into the family lives of monkeys.

California Lutheran University Assistant Professor Anita Stone has been studying tiny Brazilian squirrel monkeys for decades. One of the big questions she’s hoping to answer is whether the females choose their mates, or accept alpha males who fight for them.

The $300,000 grant will fund four years of research for Stone and a dozen students. They’ll spend their summers observing the monkeys in the eastern Amazonia forest.

The monkeys are hard to study because they move quickly, and hang out in social groups of about 50. They are only about a foot long, with black and orange bodies, with distinctive black and white faces.

In addition to gathering biological samples for study at Cal Lutheran, UCLA, and the University of Texas, they will work with people who live in the area to promote tropical forest conservation.

Cal Lutheran is the parent of KCLU Radio.