International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 235–242 | Cite as

Observation of a birth among wild toque macaques (Macaca sinica)

  • Amodha P. Ratnayeke
  • Wolfgang P. J. Dittus


Most toque macaques give birth to their infants during the night when resting arboreally. Here we report on a birth that occurred in daytime (at 0916 hr) and on the ground. The mother was 7.6 years old; the birth was her second. Prepartum behaviors included lordosis, arching of the back, stretching, squatting, rolling on the ground, and anogenital self-examination. During the birth the female was isolated about 100 m from the rest of her group. The mother stood bipedally during parturition and assisted delivery with her hands. The infant was born within 2 min after first appearing at the vulva. It immediately clung to the mother’s leg and vocalized. The mother licked the infant and oriented it toward her ventrum. She resumed foraging behavior within 20 min after parturition. The infant nursed for the first time 2.25 hr after being born. The mother ate part of the placenta, but the alpha female of the group usurped and also ate a portion of it. Curious group members sniffed and looked at the infant but did not touch it.

Key words

Macaca sinica parturition behavior neonate mother-infant 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amodha P. Ratnayeke
    • 1
  • Wolfgang P. J. Dittus
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of ColomboColomboSri Lanka
  2. 2.National Zoological ParkSmithsonian InstitutionWashington, D.C.
  3. 3.Institute of Fundamental StudiesKandySri Lanka

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