Primates Color

Primates Color

Gizmo Garcia (12th), Reporter

Primates have such a wide range of species, varieties and fur colors that it can be hard to tell the difference between certain monkeys. However, would you believe it if the coloring had a meaning to it? And perhaps a brutal meaning at that.

When monkey’s are babies, specifically the Delacour’s langur, are just colored straight brown while the adults are colored in more of a black and silver color. Now you may be asking yourself why that is? Well first let’s start off with the color only fades to another color after a couple months but let us not forget that this is the case for many other monkey’s, this is not just exclusive to the Delacour’s langur there is a wide variety of monkeys that are like this but it all really depends on the species but again, why? Well the answer isn’t exactly pretty. The reason why baby monkeys have a different coat color is because the coating may actually provide them the safety from infanticide which means “a person who kills an infant, especially their own child.”

In an article made by MAX G. LEVY on February 7th, 2022 it states, “a female is nursing another male’s baby, they may bring trouble. Adult males who come in and take over a troop will kill the infant in order to bring the mothers back into estrus earlier,” (Stankovic).

So yes monkeys do actually end up killing their children, and it’s not exactly rare either. They can either be complete accidents or completely intentional. It can be very cruel in the wild since animals such as these can be very abusive towards their baby’s, and once that baby is abused they will be sure to do the same to their offspring.

In the same article it was later mentioned that they had done research for over 200 primates!

The article explains that “the team analyzed data on infant and adult coats, behavior, and biology for 286 primate species, and they found a strong correlation between species with distinct infant coats and the occurrence of infanticide. The team’s hypothesis is that the conspicuous hair color is an indirect form of protection: Babies with distinct coats elicit more care from their mothers. When infants get more attention and nurturing, they develop faster.” 

So what this means is that the faster a monkey grows up and gets rid of its coating the less vulnerable it is. The longer it takes the more vulnerable. Although, don’t get it wrong, the coating is still good, so that they are not mistaken for something else in fact it can also be an attraction, as in to keep away other animals or to help the mother find their child.

When speaking with the realest out there Pitman High Junior Bianca Mazzina,  I asked, “How do they feel about monkeys?” 

She replied with,, “I love monkeys so much they’re my favorite animal. I would die for a monkey.”

I then responded with responded with then asking her, “Is there anything you don’t like about monkeys?”

She replied with, “You can’t have them as pets. Some of them are annoying like howler monkeys and some of them are mean to their baby’s.”

We talked a bit on how monkeys’ coat color actually has something to do with how the baby’s are treated and this was actually what she meant by they were mean to her monkey’s, she was aware and expressed how cruel monkeys could be to their children at times.

Finally I asked her, “What is your favorite monkey?”

She replied with, “I like capuchins and African Green monkeys cause they’re the cutest and nicest.”