, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 271–275 | Cite as

Social responses to the traumatic injury of a juvenile spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)

  • Colin A. Chapman
  • Lauren J. Chapman
Short Communication


The behavioural development of a juvenile male spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) preceding and subsequent to a traumatic injury resulting in the loss of his tail, was documented over a nine-month period in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. The juvenile became heavily reliant on his mother, who readily provided compensatory care, including nursing the juvenile even though he had previously been weaned. In comparison to another juvenile male spider monkey of similar age, the development of the injured animal was severely retarded and even five months after the accident, the juvenile was still nursing and being carried by his mother. As injuries may be relatively common among primates it is suggested that the provision of compensatory care is an important trait in many primate species.

Key Words

Compensatory care Spider monkey Ateles Injury 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin A. Chapman
    • 1
  • Lauren J. Chapman
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Anthropology and ZoologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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