• When Dads Help: Male Behavioral Care During Primate Infant Development

      Huck, Maren; Fernández-Duque, Eduardo; Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA; German Primate Centre , Department Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Göttingen, Germany; Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral, Conicet, Argentina (Springer, 2012)
      In contrast to birds, male mammals rarely help to raise the offspring. Of all mammals, only among rodents, carnivores, and primates, males are sometimes intensively engaged in providing infant care (Kleiman and Malcolm 1981). Male caretaking of infants has long been recognized in nonhuman primates (Itani 1959). Given that infant care behavior can have a positive effect on the infant’s development, growth, well-being, or survival, why are male mammals not more frequently involved in “building babies”? We begin the chapter defining a few relevant terms and introducing the theory and hypotheses that have historically addressed the evolution of paternal care. We then review empirical findings on male care among primate taxa, before focusing, in the final section, on our own work on paternal care in South American owl monkeys (Aotus spp.). We conclude the chapter with some suggestions for future studies.