Maternal care and infant transfer in two species ofColobus monkeys
- Cite this article as:
- Horwich, R.H. & Manski, D. Primates (1975) 16: 49. doi:10.1007/BF02381799
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Three infantColobus guereza and twoColobus polykomos were observed during their first 3 months, when infant transfer between females was prevalent. Such mother-infant relations as nipple contact, time on the mother, infant returns to the mother, infant resting on the mother, and the mother's retrieval of the infant were recorded. Maternal behaviors and interactions between non-mothers and the infant were also noted. Additionally a description of infant pelage change during this period was described. Inter-relationships of these behaviors were discussed. During early development, non-mothers performed more maternal behaviors and transferred and carried the infant more than its mother. With infant recognition of its mother and increased locomotor abilities after 3–5 weeks, less transfers occurred and the infant spent more time on its mother's nipple. A period of high nipple contact, reminiscent of an infant regressive period, occurred. Male-infant interactions were highest at 4–9 weeks. Finally, the existence of infant transfers in Colobinae and its relationship to “aunt” behavior in Cercopithecinae was discussed. Female motivations during transfers and the possible functions of the behavior were also discussed.