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Table of Contents
Vol. 71, No. 1-2, 2000
Issue release date: January – April
Section title: Paper
Folia Primatol 2000;71:93–113
(DOI:10.1159/000021733)

The Evolution of Non-Maternal Care in Anthropoid Primates: A Test of the Hypotheses

Ross C. · MacLarnon A.
School of Life Sciences, University of Surrey Roehampton, London, UK

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: February 17, 2000
Issue release date: January – April

Number of Print Pages: 21
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 0015-5713 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9980 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/FPR

Abstract

The amount of non-maternal care (allocare) found in primates varies greatly from species to species. Our paper examines this variation and focuses on possible reasons why mothers in some anthropoid primate species are prepared to relinquish their infants to other carers whereas others are not. We use data collected from the literature to test a number of hypotheses that attempt to explain the observed variation in non-maternal care. Analyses were carried out using comparative methods that control for the influence of both body size and phylogeny on life-history and ecological variation. The results support previous studies of both primates and other mammals in finding a clear link between the amount of allocare provided and female reproductive rates. Species with high allocare levels grow rapidly post-natally and wean their infants at a younger age (but at the same relative size) than species of the same body size with lower allocare levels. This early weaning allows high allocare species to support higher birth rates than low allocare species but does not result in earlier maturation. Our results, therefore, suggest that mothers allow non-maternal care of their infants in order to increase their own reproductive output. It is not clear whether such a strategy also benefits the infant, as we could find no link between the presence of allocare and early maturation (which would increase the infant’s reproductive output) or between allocare levels and infant survival (as measured by vulnerability to infanticide). This suggests that mothers and infants might come into conflict over transfer to other carers, as the benefits to the mother may not be accompanied by benefits to the infant. However, although mothers may benefit from allocare in some circumstances, they will not be expected to allow allocare if the costs are high (e.g. if there is a high risk to the infant).

© 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: February 17, 2000
Issue release date: January – April

Number of Print Pages: 21
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 0015-5713 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9980 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/FPR


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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