Monkey Reproduction, babies, and lifespan

Monkey Reproduction, babies, and lifespan

 


Monkey Reproduction, babies, and lifespan

Much like humans, monkeys give live birth to one or two babies at a time and live long lives compared to other mammals. Though smaller monkeys can have life spans more like a household pet–around 15 years, on average, for many tamarinds–larger monkeys can live as long as 35 years in the wild. Monkeys live even longer in captivity, including one bornean gibbon that made it to 60 years old.


Monkeys grow to maturity with a few years, overall. Like humans, it can take about a year for a fertile female to mate and give live birth to a baby monkey. These timelines are typically shorter for smaller, more rodent-sized monkeys. Like humans, monkeys often have a near-monthly cycle where they can get pregnant. Despite this, most monkey species have a mating season that revolves around food availability.


Most monkey species will give birth to a new baby approximately once every year. Monkey mothers will typically nurse and care for a newborn monkey for at least a few months until the baby monkey becomes more independent. During this time, the baby monkey might cling to the mother exclusively, preventing the mother from having another baby.


Many monkey species form family groups with many adult females and an “alpha” male with whom most of the females mate. Non-alpha males born into these groups might separate from the group in adulthood to form their own family group. As the alpha male grows older or dies, another male may take over as the alpha.


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