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Heartbreaking Images Show Monkey Comforting His Dying Partner

4 years ago1.8K views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

Researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom working with the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil have observed some rare behavior from a dominant pair of marmoset monkeys living in the Atlantic forest of Brazil. The female marmoset fell out of a tree to her death, but while she was dying, her partner of three and a half years stayed by her side to comfort and protect her.

Researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom working with the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco in Brazil have observed some rare behavior from a dominant pair of marmoset monkeys living in the Atlantic forest of Brazil.

The female marmoset fell out of a tree to her death, but while she was dying, her partner of three and a half years stayed by her side to comfort and protect her.

This kind of behavior has only been observed before in chimpanzees and humans, so primatologists are fascinated by the chance to study how monkeys handle the death of a close partner.

The male monkey reportedly stayed by is mates’ side for an hour and 48 minutes, shooing away the younger monkeys, hugging, sniffing and even trying to have sex with the dying female.

According to Doctor Bruna Bezerra from the University of Bristol: “The stressful situation could be the cause of the 'out of context' behaviours performed by the male. However, we could also speculate that the behaviours could have been made to trigger a response from the injured female.”

Just a few months after the death of his partner, the dominant male left the group for unknown reasons, and didn’t return.