Owl Monkeys Shed Light on Evolution of Love
Tiny primates form close bonds that may be foundation of human relationships.
Take owl monkeys, tiny tropical tree-dwellers that treat every day like it's Valentine's Day. A male and a female stick together as long as possible, never cheat, and never "divorce" their mates—extremely unusual behavior, even among people. (Also see "Male Monkeys Wash With Urine to Attract Females?")
Sometimes, though, young adult owl monkeys that can't find mates—monkeys that scientists call floaters—pick vicious fights with established pairs, eventually kicking one of them out.
Now, new research shows that the monkeys forced to take on new partners have fewer babies than owl monkeys that haven't been broken up, said Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, a biological anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia who led a new study on owl monkey relationships.
The results show