Direct paternal care in black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys

Authors


  • Editor: Virginia Hayssen

Correspondence
Zuo-Fu Xiang, College of Life Science and Technology, Central South University of Forestry & Technology, 498 Shaoshan Nanlu, Changsha, Hunan 410004, China. Tel: +86 731 5623392; Fax: +86 731 5623498
Email: zorph111@yahoo.com.cn

Abstract

Mothers of many colobines permit other females or juveniles to have contact with their infants, but paternal care has rarely been reported. This paper reports paternal care in free-ranging black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys Rhinopithecus bieti an endangered and little-known high-altitude species. Direct infant care, carrying or grooming infants, was observed in 2115 of 3988 infant behavioral samples, and 30 of these observations involved direct paternal care. Yearly paternal care was 1.63%, with highest rates in February and March. Monthly paternal care was negatively correlated with infant age, food availability and ambient temperature. Thus, energetic stress may be selective pressure favoring paternal care.

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