Sometimes when Monkeys Also monkey Infants die and mothers nurture and preserve the small corpses for days, weeks and months, even if the baby’s body rots or mummies. New research has revealed that disastrous behavior is more prevalent than previously thought.
Researchers recently conducted the first analysis comparing more than 400 recorded cases of primate mothers interacting with dead babies, from more than a century of observations of 50 primate species. Has been collected. Scientists then created “the largest database of mother primate reactions to infant death,” they wrote in a new study.
They also found that factors such as the age of the mother and baby, and the teenager’s sudden death, could shape a mother’s behavior towards the baby after the baby died.
Related: Photo: The macaque’s mother takes care of her daughter’s mummified corpse
Scientists have published descriptions of infant carcasses in primates since the beginning of the 20th century. One of the first accounts dates from 1915, Journal of Animal BehaviorElisa Fernández-Fueyo, primatologist and graduate student in the Faculty of Anthropology at University College London (UCL), UK, said.
In a 1915 study, primatologist and psychologist Robert Yerkes “reported the case of a captive rhesus monkey mother carrying a dead baby for five weeks.” I sent an email to Live Science.
For the new research, the authors are monkeys, monkeys, galagos and Maki It was usually their deceased youth. About 80% of the species they examined acted to transport corpses. However, this activity has been most commonly reported in great apes (our closest primate relatives) and Old World monkeys. These two groups of primates “bear babies the longest after death,” said Fernandez Fueyo.
For example, in March 2020, researchers described 12 cases of wild baboon mothers carrying babies that had died for 10 days. Female macaques (ancient kind of monkey of the world) inhabiting Italian animal parks in 2017 Carried her dead toddler For four weeks, I finally cannibalized the mummified corpse. And in 2003, after two baby chimpanzees died from respiratory illnesses, the mother carried the baby’s corpse for several months. Previously reported live science..
Express your sadness
Lemurs, which diverged from other primate groups over 60 million years ago, were an exception to the new analysis and did not carry dead babies, Fernandez Fueyo said. However, Lemuriformes’s mother “was found to express her grief through other behaviors, such as returning to the corpse and contact with mother and baby,” Fernandez Fueyo said.
Species that are reluctant to give up a dead baby may carry the corpse because the cause of the baby’s death is invisible (for example, if the baby dies from illness rather than trauma). Studies have shown that mothers are younger and have less experience of direct death than older women.
And the length of time the woman carried the corpse may indicate the strength of the emotional bond between mother and baby, the authors suggested.
“We know that the bond between mother and child is regulated by the emotions of the primate. For example, when the mother separates from the living baby, the mother becomes anxious, ”said Fernandez Fueyo. In other words, separation anxiety can trigger the delivery of infant corpses in primates, explaining why the corpses of very young unweaned babies were typically carried longer than older babies. Scientists have reported.
In fact, some primate mothers who carry dead babies can warn them if they lose or have their bodies stolen. “This suggests that carrying a dead body can be a way to deal with the associated stress, the losses,” he said. “To better understand this and that the behavior of primates related to death can be explained not only by links, but also by related emotions, and thus resembles human grief.” I need a lot of data. “
The results were published in the journal on September 15. Royal Society Bulletin B: Biological Sciences..
Originally published in Live Science.