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When Dads Help: Male Behavioral Care During Primate Infant Development

  • Maren Huck
  • Eduardo Fernandez-Duque
Chapter
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR, volume 37)

Abstract

In contrast to birds, male mammals rarely help to raise the offspring. Of all mammals, only among rodents, carnivores, and primates, males are sometimes intensively engaged in providing infant care (Kleiman and Malcolm 1981). Male caretaking of infants has long been recognized in nonhuman primates (Itani 1959). Given that infant care behavior can have a positive effect on the infant’s development, growth, well-being, or survival, why are male mammals not more frequently involved in “building babies”? We begin the chapter defining a few relevant terms and introducing the theory and hypotheses that have historically addressed the evolution of paternal care. We then review empirical findings on male care among primate taxa, before focusing, in the final section, on our own work on paternal care in South American owl monkeys (Aotus spp.). We conclude the chapter with some suggestions for future studies.

Keywords

Aotus Carrying Dispersal Development Male care Mating effort Night monkeys Owl monkeys Paternal care 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to all students, volunteers, and assistants who helped us to collect the data. We also thank Mr. F. Middleton, Manager of Estancia Guaycolec, and Alfredo Casaretto (Director of Bellamar Estancias) for the continued support of the Owl Monkey Project. All research presented here is approved by the Formosa Province Council of Veterinarian Doctors, the Directorate of Wildlife, the Subsecretary of Ecology and Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Production. At the national level, the procedures were approved by the National Wildlife Directorate in Argentina and by the IACUC committees of the Zoological Society of San Diego (2000–2005) and of the University of Pennsylvania (2006–2010). MH was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (HU 1746/2-1). EFD acknowledges the financial support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation (BCS-0621020), the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation, and the Zoological Society of San Diego. We thank the editors Kathryn Clancy, Katie Hinde, and Julienne Rutherford for inviting us to contribute to this volume, and the editors and anonymous reviewers for their comments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Centro de Ecología Aplicada del LitoralConicetArgentina

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