Allonursing is a highly cooperative behaviour that may have important fitness consequences for the infant while the benefits to the allomother are less clear. To investigate the function of this behaviour, we compared patterns of allonursing and nursing exhibited by white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus). We used a linear mixed model approach to analyse data collected on 21 infants from six social groups in Sector Santa Rosa, Costa Rica. Infants nursed at higher rates and for longer durations from their mothers than from allonurses. They also allonursed at higher rates from lactating and non-lactating parous females than from nulliparous females and at higher rates from maternally related female allonurses than other females. We found no observed effect of adult female rank or infant sex. We conclude that infant white-faced capuchins engage in allonursing as a means to acquire additional milk, and that participating allonurses may benefit from increased inclusive fitness.
Post-conceptive mating in white-faced capuchins, Cebus capucinus: hormonal and sociosexual patterns of cycling, noncycling, and pregnant females. — In:
New perspectives in the study of mesoamerican primates: distribution, ecology, behavior, and conservation (
EstradaA.GarberP.A.PavelkaM.S.M.LueckeL., eds). Springer, New York, NY, p.
Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for the study of Mexican howler monkeys, their natural hybrids, and other Neotropical primates. —
Conserv. Gen. Resourc.2:
Why be alpha male? Dominance and reproductive success in wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). — In:
New perspectives in the study of Mesoamerican primates: distribution, ecology, behavior, and conservation (
EstradaA.GarberP.PavelkaM.S.M.LueckeL., eds). Springer, New York, NY, p.
Effects of reproductive status on energy intake, ingestion rates and dietary composition of female Cebus capucinus at Santa Rosa, Costa Rica. —
Int. J. Primatol.28:
Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers in the white-faced capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus) and cross-species amplification in other New World monkeys. —
Mol. Ecol. Resourc.8:
Tactics of care for young infants by forest-living ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata): ground nests, parking and biparental guarding. —
Am. J. Primatol.13:
van SchaikC.P.BurkartJ.M. (2010).
Mind the gap: cooperative breeding and the evolution of our unique features. — In:
Mind the gap. Tracing the origins of human universals (
KappelerP.M.SilkJ., eds). Springer, Berlin, p.
WeaverA.C. (1999). The role of attachment in the development of reconciliation. — Doctoral dissertation, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
The effect of male parallel dispersal on group composition in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). —