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Monkeys 'Also Give In To Their Children's Temper Tantrums'
The research shows that it is not just humans who pander to their children’s demands to keep them quiet in public.
Scientists found that female monkeys are more likely to feed their offspring if their crying is annoying nearby animals, particularly those that could pose a threat.
The team from Roehampton University in London followed 11 female rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago, also known as “monkey island”, off the coast of Puerto Rico.
They found that they were much more likely to give in to their infants crying if there were other, potentially aggressive, monkeys nearby.
Mothers who felt pressure from other adults were more likely to feed their children in an attempt to placate them, the study found.
When another aggressive adult was less than two metres away the monkeys gave access to their nipple in 82 per cent of cases, more than twice as often as when they were alone with their children, according to the findings, reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal.
Dr Stuart Semple, who led the study, said: “Human studies have shown parents are much more likely to give in to a child’s temper tantrum when it is in public rather than private.
“We have shown for the first time that similar differences occur in rhesus monkeys.
“Mothers became nervous and agitated if high-risk onlookers were around and were twice as likely to provide access to the nipple.
“Children’s temper tantrums seem to be an evolutionary behaviour handed down from our ancestors with a constant conflict going on between mothers and their infants who are always looking for more.”
Uninhabited by humans, Cayo Santiago is populated exclusively by rhesus monkeys, with around 900 living on the island.
From The Telegraph