Once she has been fertilised, a female primate’s primary concern shifts from the business of mating to that of ensuring the survival of her fetus and its development into a functional adult. Because primates are born helpless, this is a major long-term investment on her part and its costs far outweigh the minor consideration of finding a suitable mate. Males, of course, also have an interest in ensuring that their offspring mature. But the constraints of mammalian reproductive biology (something that primates are saddled with) make it more difficult for them to play a direct part. None the less, in some cases, males do contribute significantly to the rearing programme, radically altering the social system in consequence.
KeywordsParental Care Rhesus Macaque Parental Investment Interbirth Interval Coalition Partner
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