Contributions to Science
Some of the pioneering contributions of Cayo Santiago:
Cayo Santiago monkeys have been used:
- To discover the Rh factor.
- To conduct malaria vaccine work during World War II.
- For the development of the Hulka chip used in tubal ligation for reproductive control.
- For the first application of blood proteins to study biological divergence.
- For tetanus studies, which achieved the first known eradication of a population-wide chronic disease prior to the elimination of smallpox in humans.
Behavioral studies on Cayo Santiago have served as the foundation for central theories of social behavior in primates.
- Some of the first systematic observations of primates which provided the foundation of our knowledge of behavior for primatology.
- The first longitudinal work which provided the basis for our understanding of primate dominance relationships.
- The first studies to help elucidate what factors determine dominance and how a troop is formed.
- The first studies to outline the importance of kinship in social structure.
- The first studies to show that monkeys have complex social relationships based around female relationships.
- Cayo Santiago rhesus macaques have consistently served as a human model for mother-infant relationships. These studies were the first to put primate development into a naturalistic context. The research conducted has examined cross-generational styles in maternal behavior as well as the interplay between social structure and mother-infant development.
- Behavioral differences related to dominance rank are linked to reproductive value of female rhesus macaques, according to an accurate life table.
- Among the first to show that female behavior affects male mating success and that it can counteract the effects of male-male dominance relationships.
- Primates recognize both maternal and paternal kin, and that they have preferential interactions with maternal and paternal kin over unrelated individuals.
- Data showing lifespan, not onset of reproduction, is the best predictor of lifetime reproductive success.
- The first data in free-ranging primates showing that changes in color are related to changes in behavior over time.