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Comparative Study
, 74 (5-6), 259-71

Mother-infant Interactions in Slow Lorises (Nycticebus Bengalensis) and Pygmy Lorises (Nycticebus Pygmaeus)

Comparative Study

Mother-infant Interactions in Slow Lorises (Nycticebus Bengalensis) and Pygmy Lorises (Nycticebus Pygmaeus)

H Fitch-Snyder et al. Folia Primatol (Basel).


The study had three purposes: (1) to obtain information about mother-infant interactions in a rarely studied nocturnal prosimian, the pygmy loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus); (2) to compare pygmy lorises with a closely related and better-studied nocturnal prosimian, the Bengal slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis); and (3) to determine how the presence of a second offspring affected mother-infant interactions in pygmy lorises. Three Bengal slow loris mothers and 3 pygmy loris mothers served as subjects, along with their 10 offspring (4 Bengal slow loris singletons, 2 pygmy loris singletons and 2 sets of pygmy loris twins). Observations were carried out in a zoo research facility for the first 24 weeks of the infants' lives. Although the two species differ in size and reproductive patterns, mother-infant interactions were similar. The primary modes of infant and adult contact were ventral and passive contact, respectively. Mothers parked their infants from the first week, and infants followed from the second week. Mothers displayed little protection or rejection, and there was little aggression. Infants solicited play and social grooming from their mothers. Pygmy loris mothers engaged in social grooming and play with their infants more frequently and for longer periods if the infant was a singleton rather than a twin.

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