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Copulatory Behavior and Reproduction in the Binturong, Arctictis binturong
Chris Wemmer and James Murtaugh
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 62, No. 2 (May, 1981), pp. 342-352
Published by: American Society of Mammalogists
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1380710
Page Count: 11
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Observations of binturongs (Arctictis binturong) in captivity revealed that copulation was usually arboreal and was characterized by repeated mounts with multiple bouts of intravaginal thrusting. Receptive females showed increased activity, a vaginal mucous discharge, and increased frequency of two vocalizations. Neck-biting was absent, but tail wrapping was unique to the female. Known-aged females first copulated at a mean age of 30.4 months (range = 12.9-47.9), and conceived for the first time at 30.0 months (range = 13-47.9). Males copulated for the first time at 27.7 months (range = 13-45.7). Both sexes can remain fertile until at least 15 years old. The maximum life-time productivity in captivity was estimated to be 23 young. Quantitative reproductive data obtained from a zoo survey revealed that binturongs breed year-round, but show a pronounced birth peak from January through March. Estrous cycles averaged 81.8 days and copulations were seen over a period of 1 to 15 days (X̄ = 6.1), suggesting a long period of estrus. Mean gestation was 91.1 days (range = 84-99), litter size ranged from one to six (X̄ = 1.98), and the sex ratio at birth was not significantly different from 1:1. The prenatal growth rate was approximately 3.5g/foetus/day; neonatal weight ranged from 283.8 to 340.5 g (X̄ = 319), or about 2.9% of the nonpreganant female's weight.
Journal of Mammalogy © 1981 American Society of Mammalogists