Parturitional behavior in 12 caged Macaca fuscata was analyzed. Wild-caught mothers showed adequate maternal behaviors immediately following the neonate's expulsion. Parity differences existed in the behaviors; primiparae were more idiosyncratic than were multiparae. Among multiparae, those with two or more offspring were uniformly adequate, but those with a single birth experience varied in the adequacy of the maternal care they provided at parturition. Mothers embraced and licked their neonates and had ventroventral contact with them frequently immediately after parturition but decreased these behaviors after expulsion of the placenta. In contrast, mothers showed allogrooming after consuming the placenta. Placentophagy was correlated with the level of orality represented by maternal licking behaviors. An isolation-reared primipara reacted to her newborn in a basically negative manner, although she showed little actual aggression. She showed a rapid shift in her negative behavior during the immediate postpartum period. This mother's newborn sought contact with her, indicating the neonate's active role in establishing a stable mother-neonate bond.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology