Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-42gr6 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-21T06:18:59.959Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

10 - Prevention of infanticide: the perspective of infant primates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2009

Carel P. van Schaik
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Charles H. Janson
Affiliation:
State University of New York, Stony Brook
Get access

Summary

Introduction

Infants have the strongest incentive to avoid infanticide. Paradoxically, they are the least capable of preventing it. Primate infants are particularly vulnerable because they take a long time to develop the physical and cognitive capacity to avoid risk. Yet infants are not utterly helpless in the face of infanticidal threats. Through detection, avoidance and deterrence, infants and their caregivers prevent infanticide. If infanticide is treated as a series of steps preceding lethal injury, one can see several junctures at which animals can act to lower risk (Figure 10.1). Protectors can prevent infanticide at every step. Neonate self-protection is generally limited to the earliest steps in the process. An older infant may have more options.

In this chapter, I explore the behaviors used by primates to prevent infanticide. I begin with protectors and then turn to infant self-protection. In both sections, I search for evidence of specific adaptations to infanticide prevention. The final section specifically addresses infant transport and the coevolution of primate mothers and infants.

Protectors

Primate infants are cared for by a variety of individuals: mothers, fathers, older siblings, more distant kin, as well as some unrelated adults (Hrdy 1976; Nicolson 1987; Whitten 1987; Manson 1999; Paul 1999). Within groups, the sexes usually take different roles in infant protection. A common pattern is for females to perform direct care (e.g., transport, feeding) while males provide indirect care (e.g., guarding).

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2000

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×