The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chimpanzees Hold a Fascination For Most People

Since they seem so close to being human that we can easily relate to them. One area of particular interest to researchers is the rearing and nurturing of babies within the chimpanzee society. In-depth studies are ongoing to learn how maternal care of offspring affects the future of that offspring. Researchers envision that this may give us insight into how our own parenting affects children. What is known about chimpanzee nurturing methods is that the mothers take their nurturing role seriously, balancing tender care with teaching necessary life skills.

    Mother Chimpanzees

  1. Chimpanzee mothers play the primary role in bringing up baby. In fact, the mom does not let her baby leave her arms for the first three months and is in almost constant physical contact with her young for the first year. The importance of the nurturing that a mother chimpanzee gives her infant cannot be understated. According to the Jane Goodall Institute, "Learned behavior during this period shapes the social skills that they will have and need as they grow into adults. Good chimpanzee mothers are patient and attentive... while at the same time allowing their young to learn through trial and error."
    Chimpanzees, like humans, have a prolonged childhood where the mother nurtures her baby in much the same way as human mothers. Around the age of 3 months, the mother will start to play with her baby. She will spend time bouncing the baby on her stomach and making faces at it till they are both laughing chimpanzee-style. She will nurse her baby until the age of 4 or 5 and will carry her baby much of the time until it is 2 or 3. Mom will remain in close contact with and support her offspring until they are past the adolescent age of about 10 or 11 years old.
    The strong mother/infant chimpanzee bond that nurtures a baby into adulthood is not without its trials. Weaning can be a stressful time for both, although it's an important step toward adulthood. According to a study published in the International Journal of Primatology, "As weaning progressed, the infants displayed many elements of depression... they regressed to infantile behaviors such as whimpering, ventral riding with the mother, and long periods of contact."
  2. Extended Chimpanzee Family

  3. Other members of the chimpanzee troop do play a role in the nurturing of the offspring. Older siblings will play with and teach younger siblings. Males will even show kindness to babies by holding, stroking or grooming them. Orphaned infants are usually adopted by another female, often a sister or an aunt. Although the mom takes on the primary role, the chimpanzee community has shown to be an important part in the nurturing and raising of young chimpanzees.

No comments:

Post a Comment