Will groom for snuggles

Market forces govern a baby’s value among vervet monkeys and sooty mangabeys

By Susan Milius, 15:13 PM November 5, 2010

“Do my hair before you touch my baby” is the rule among mother vervet monkeys and sooty mangabeys when it comes to sharing their infants with their neighbors.

Like some other primate infants, monkey babies attract crowds of females eager to touch, hold and make silly lip-smacking noises at the little ones, says primatologist Cécile Fruteau of Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Her novel study of infant-touching etiquette in the vervets and mangabeys adds them to the short list of anima...

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