Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

April 18, 2014
Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate
The male marmoset sat with his dying mate and prevented young individuals from approaching.

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil.

It is the first time that compassionate care-taking behaviour towards a dying adult group member has been observed in monkeys.  Previously, such behaviour was believed to be unique to humans and .

When the dominant male marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) noticed the female lying on the , he immediately went to her, leaving behind two babies he had been caring for in the tree, and embraced her.

He then sat with her for the next hour and 48 minutes.  During this time, he prevented young individuals from approaching the dying female, behaviour previously observed in chimpanzees.

The long-term relationship between the dominant pair (which lasted at least three and a half years) and their in the group may have contributed to the male's behavioural response, the scientists said. 

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Credit: University of Bristol

Explore further: Chimpanzees create social traditions

More information: "Responses towards a dying adult group member in a wild New World monkey." Bruna Martins Bezerra, Matthew Philip Keasey, Nicola Schiel, Antonio da Silva Souto. Primates, April 2014, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 185-188. link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10329-014-0412-8

Related Stories

Chimpanzees create social traditions

August 29, 2012

(Phys.org)—Researchers have revealed that chimpanzees are not only capable of learning from one another, but also use this social information to form and maintain local traditions. A research collaboration between the Gonzaga ...

Power struggles are best kept out of the public eye

April 5, 2013

For animals, prevailing in a fight affects their likelihood of winning future conflicts. The opposite is true of losing a fight. The sex hormone testosterone is often believed to mediate this "winner effect". Researchers ...

Bonobos stay young longer

December 16, 2013

Despite the fact that chimpanzees and bonobos share similar starting conditions at birth they develop different behavioural patterns later in life. These differences might be caused by different hormone levels. Researchers ...

Recommended for you

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lex Talonis
2 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2014
What are these stupid fucking people on?

"It is the first time that compassionate care-taking behaviour towards a dying adult group member has been observed in monkeys. Previously, such behaviour was believed to be unique to humans and chimpanzees."

It goes on EVERYWHERE, with huge amounts of other people forms....

Elephants, dogs, dolphins, whales, cats, ducks, geese, fish, etc........

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.