• food sharing;
  • monogamy;
  • pair bond;
  • paternal care


Captive owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae, A. azarai) share food frequently within both families and pairs. In this study food sharing was observed in seven mated pairs and four families (i.e., four mated pairs and their offspring). Patterns of food sharing were examined with respect to age class, sex, and the presence or absence of dependent offspring. Within families, most food transfers were from adult males to developing offspring. Adult males and females transferred food to their mates in caged pairs as well as in family units. Food interactions between adults are as likely to result in food transfers as those between adults and offspring. This pattern of food sharing between mates in a monogamous species may serve both nutritional and social functions that differ from those in polygamous species. Am. J. Primatol. 68:1–12, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.