, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 416–429

Infantile colouration as an elicitor of caretaking behaviour in old world primates

  • Thomas R. Alley

DOI: 10.1007/BF02390470

Cite this article as:
Alley, T.R. Primates (1980) 21: 416. doi:10.1007/BF02390470


The infants of many primate species possess distinctively coloured or patterned coats and flesh. Evolutionary theory, primate ecology, and observational evidence all indicate that these distinctive characteristics may elicit attention, protection, tolerance, and other forms of caregiving from older conspecifics. Such caretaking responses to infantile characteristics are analogous to those found in other mammals and do not seem to require learning.

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas R. Alley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, U-20Universityof ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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