Monkey Forest Tales: Friendship in monkeys

Merry Christmas!!!! We are celebrating Christmas today and around the world this day means different thing for many people from the Christian believes, but not for people from other religions who celebrate different things at different times during the year.
For most of us, it means family and friends. For those of us who have lived or live in a different country to the one where our family lives, Christmas became a celebration with our closest friends who became part of our extended families.
In today’s post we are going to talk about those friendship relations, but in monkeys. Monkeys like us make friends during their lives, especially in those species where multiple males and females live in the same group.
In those large groups friendship is important, it can help you to get food, partners, can also help you when conflicts with other group member arise. So same as in human societies, friendship is an important part of some monkeys species lives.
Some of those friendships arise from infancy when infants play with other infants in their group, they develop relationships with all their playmates and some of those relationships became a friendship for a long time, and in some case for their whole life.
In the case of males, some of those male friends leave their natal group together in search of new groups. And, those friendships can help them to overcome the alpha male in a new group and monopolize the females, giving them an advantage to reproduce.
In the case of females, those friendships can help them to get access to better food if you are friend with a dominant female. In some species those friends also help you to watch the infants during feeding and resting times.
Not all friends in monkeys are related, it means they are not necessarily family, but sometimes they are. And like in humans some of these friendships can be broken or deteriorate when new friendships are formed.
When conflict arise from food access or other reasons, those close friends also help you to overcome aggressions and sometimes to gain access to that food you were chased from.
So, friendship is another social skill that we share with primates (monkeys, prosimian and apes). A valuable skill that also help us go in live more cheerfully.
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