Of Monkeys and Mothers

Most mammalian mothers show maternal care unrivaled by the rest of the animal kingdom. Primates are no exception; parental care and offspring dependency is often extended longer than other mammals of the same size. In group living primates, the high ecological price of parenting (due to the energy required to produce the offspring and milk, increased vulnerability to predators with a dependent infant, etc) often results not only in an insurance that one’s genes will continue on, but often strong mother-offspring affiliations throughout their lives.

The topic of maternal (and paternal) care is a strong interest of mine and I hope, at some point in my life, the opportunity arises to further explore and research this area. But for the time being, swamped as I am with other research projects, I have consigned myself to simply photographing mother-infant pairs whenever possible.

Chimpanzee parental care is fascinating, but unfortunately, I’ve observed few interactions and taken even fewer photographs (but see Chimp Culture for a photo and brief description of a mother-infant observation). Therefore, this blog is simply an excuse to share my favorite photographs of monkey mothers (baboons and red-tailed monkeys) as well as some absurdly cute infants and juveniles.

First the red-tails:

And now the baboons:


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