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Dublin: 12°C Sunday 26 June 2022

These male monkeys like hanging out with the lads

Scientists have observed the behaviour in the rhesus macaque species.

Image: Shankar s./Flickr

WHILE THE TRADITIONAL bond in the natural world has been between animals and their mothers – a certain species of monkey appears to buck this trend.

New research has shown that male rhesus macaque monkeys are more inclined towards the company of their fathers even before they leave the core group – a pattern which scientists have found to be rare across the animal kingdom.

These monkeys were observed to be closer with their mothers up to the point at which weaning happened – and thereafter the male monkeys formed a stronger bonds with their fathers and other adult males.

The research, carried out by scientists from the University of Leipzig in Germany, also found that female off spring may be more inclined to associate with their mothers.

It is thought that this research is an indicator that the same behaviour may exist in other primates as well.

It has been attributed to the survival needs that the monkeys will require with their travelling lifestyle later in life.

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The BBC report that while bonds between female primate relatives have been traditionally understood – those between males have traditionally been less clear.

The scientists who carried out the study did so by observing each of the monkeys and tracking who they spent time with – with records dating back to 1956 assisting them in their work.

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