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Wild Monkey Gave Birth with the Help of Fellow Monkey Midwife

Apr 22, 2016 04:54 AM EDT
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Apes and monkeys are said to be humankind's closest animal relatives. They exhibit traits and DNA data that are very similar to that of humans. Now, they seem to be more advanced than we previously assumed. A monkey was recently filmed giving birth, and to everyone's surprise, she was assisted by a fellow monkey midwife.

Daily Mail reported that midwives play an important role in childbirth. Scientists have found this fact doesn't only apply to humans. Researchers have been studying the birthing behaviors of primates for years now, but it was only recently that a team of experts witnessed a midwife monkey assisting with the birth of another fellow primate.

It was witnessed by the researchers at the Qinling Mountains of China currently studying the reproductive behaviors of Rhinopithecus roxellana. The rare event gave researchers a glimpse into the primate's peculiar behavior during and after giving birth.

Data relating to the primates' reproductive behaviors are considered limited because they are known to give birth at night. That's why the rare daytime birthing shed new light on these lesser known birthing processes.

The primate Rhinopithecus roxellana is endemic to China. According to the study, the birthing process lasted for four minutes and 10 seconds and it was observed that the mother received assistance from what could be called as a midwife.

Although it is commonly observed for monkeys to help in caregiving after birth, it is only now that Chinese researchers established that they do practice assistance from fellow monkeys when giving birth as well.

Another report said that the monkey midwife calmed the mother and assisted in cleaning the newborn. They said the midwife even helped in pulling the baby monkey from the birth canal, but there are no photos to prove the act.

However, it is evident from the report that the midwife did not leave the mother's side. She cared for both the baby and the mother during and after birth. This rare moment gave researchers an insight into their daylight birthing behaviors, but they now wish to film the primates at night, so they can further quantify if this specific behavior is observed by their entire breed.

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