Navigation Links
Baby monkeys receive signals through their mother's breast milk
Date:3/2/2010

Among rhesus macaque monkeys, mothers who weigh more and have had previous pregnancies produce more and better breast milk for their babies than mothers who weigh less and are less experienced. Scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and the University of California, Davis are using this natural variation in breast milk quality and quantity to show that a mother's milk sends a reliable signal to infants about their environment. This signal may program the infant's behavior and temperament according to expectations of available resources and discourages temperaments that prove risky when food is scarce. The study was published in the American Journal of Primatology Feb. 16.

Researchers used large groups of rhesus macaques living in an outdoor enclosure at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis. Researchers collected milk two different times from 59 mothers: once when their infants were 1 month old and again when the infants were 3 1/2 months old. They recorded the quantity of milk produced by each mother, and the energy value of each one's milk was analyzed for its content of sugars, proteins and fat. These figures were combined to calculate the available milk energy generated by each mother.

Although all of the monkeys in the study were fed the same diet, the researchers found natural variation in the quantity and richness of the milk generated by the 59 mothers. Milk from mothers who weighed more and had had previous pregnancies contained higher available energy when their infants were 1 month old than the milk of lighter, less experienced mothers.

"This is the first study for any mammal that presents evidence that natural variation in available milk energy from the mother is associated with later variation in infant behavior and temperament," said Katie Hinde, the study's lead author and anthropologist at the California National Primate Research Center and the nutrition laboratory at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. "Our results suggest that the milk energy available soon after birth may be a nutritional cue that calibrates the infant's behavior to environmental or maternal conditions."

At 3 to 4 months old, each infant was temporarily separated from its mother and assessed according to its behavior and temperament. The study found that infants whose mothers had higher levels of milk energy soon after their birth coped more effectively (moved around more, explored more, ate and drank) and showed greater confidence (were more playful, curious and active). Infants whose mothers had lower milk energy had lower activity levels and were less confident when separated from their mother. Mothers and infants were reunited immediately after the experiment.

Rhesus macaques are found throughout mainland Asia: from Afghanistan to India and from Thailand to southern China. A free-ranging colony of rhesus macaques was established in 1938 on Cayo Santiagoa small island off of the east coast of Puerto Rico. The only primates with a broader geographic distribution than rhesus macaques are humans.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Gibbons
gibbonsjp@si.edu
202-633-5187
Smithsonian
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Like humans, monkeys fall into the uncanny valley
2. Bolivian rainforest study suggests feeding behavior in monkeys and humans have ancient, shared roots
3. Simian foamy virus found in several people living and working with monkeys in Asia
4. Not just for the monkeys: New publication shows evolution is everywhere
5. Ugandan monkeys harbor evidence of infection with unknown poxvirus
6. Moderate prenatal exposure to alcohol and stress in monkeys can cause touch sensitivity
7. Island monkeys do not recognize big cat calls
8. Penn researchers find monkeys able to fend off AIDS-like symptoms with enhanced HIV vaccine
9. Humans and monkeys share Machiavellian intelligence
10. Influence of sex and handedness on brain is similar in capuchin monkeys and humans
11. Monkeys use baby talk to interact with infants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Baby monkeys receive signals through their mother's breast milk
(Date:1/23/2017)... Jan. 23, 2017  The latest mobile market research ... have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price of a ... $276 in Q4 2016.  There are now 120 sub-$150 ... $116, up from just 28 a year ago at ... to Maxine Most , Acuity Market Intelligence Principal, ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... PORTLAND, Oregon and PUNE, India , January 19, ... Market Research, titled, "Global Biometric Sensor Market, Opportunities and Forecast, 2014 - ... 2022, growing at a CAGR of 9.6% from 2016 to 2022. In 2015, ... share owing to high-level security for both public and private sectors. ... ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... -- In vitro diagnostic (IVD) companies were very active in ... Kalorama Information expects that trend to continue – though ... uncertainty in reimbursement and healthcare reform in ... acquisitions landscape. Instead of looking to buy technology, the ... of their home country and also to increase their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017  Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... and commercialization of innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion animals, will ... at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss financial results from the ... Interested participants and investors may access the ... ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Park Systems , a leader ... for all SPIE attendees and Park customers on Feb. 27, 2017 ... the San Jose Convention Center. The luncheon will feature a talk on Automated ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Scientists propose in Nature blocking a molecule ... maybe other lysosomal storage diseases as a possible treatment ... An international research team led by ... investigators from the University of Lübeck in ... study was conducted in mouse models of lysosomal storage ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences (“ProMIS” or ... neurodegenerative diseases, today announced it has issued a scientific white paper entitled “Results ... a series of commentaries from ProMIS’s scientific team offering insight into the Company’s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: