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