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The Effect of Some Non-Social Factors On Mother-Infant Contact in Long-Tailed Macaques (Macaca Fascicularis)

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Mother-infant dyads were studied among wild long-tailed macaques in North Sumatra (Indonesia). The influence of arboreality and mother's immediate activity on physical contact was examined during the first 5 months of infant life. Both factors were found to be contingent on the contact probability. It was suggested that mother long-tailed macaques might intensify protective behaviour when staying high in the canopy to prevent the infant from falling. Though mothers were very rarely observed rejecting their infants, the infants seemed to learn that they could be in or out of contact a particular times depending on their mother's activity. The development of this relationship is suggested to be based upon economical principles.

Affiliations: 1: (Unit of Ethology and Socio-ecology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.086), 3508 TB Utrecht), The Netherlands


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