Why Do Monkeys Hump Their Babies?

February 14, 2024

Monkeys are very social animals and travel in groups, which is referred to as a tribe or troop. The group of monkeys is led by a dominant male or female known as a “mommonkey.” Generally, monkey moms are very loving and caring towards their babies. However, sometimes they can be quite aggressive too. Monkeys can be very clingy and some babies are so attached to their moms that they will stay with them at all costs. Some mother monkeys will even drag their babies to prevent them from leaving. It’s believed that the dragging is used as a form of transportation for the offspring to move with the mother as she travels, forages for food, or seeks shelter. The behavior has also been seen in other large primates like chimpanzees and gorillas.

Do monkeys hump each other?

Monkeys, especially the smaller species such as rhesus macaques and wild-born Japanese macaques, are super clingy and stay with their mothers for dear life. Sometimes, this can be very painful for the baby. It’s also believed that humming is a way of ensuring the infant gets milk from its mother. Some mothers can be very violent in the way they handle their babies. They can bite them in the face or arms half a dozen times or more. Some even break their limbs by pulling them. This is usually done as a form of discipline or punishment.

Interestingly, monkeys, including macaques, are polygynandrous, meaning they mate with multiple individuals of the opposite sex. Bonobos and humans are the only other primate species to typically engage in face-to-face genital sex, although it is occasionally witnessed between gorillas.


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