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

ational 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.


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

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Baby monkeys receive signals through their mother's breast milk
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