Nonhuman Primate Paternal Care: Species and Individual Differences in Behavior and Mechanisms

Toni E. Ziegler, Stacey R. Tecot, Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, Anne Savage, Charles T. Snowdon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Direct care of offspring by the father (sire) is relatively rare in primates. Besides humans, there are a number of species where the male is essential for the survival of offspring: marmosets, tamarins, titis and owl monkeys, some lemurs, and siamangs. All these species show reduced sexual dimorphism, territoriality, and biparental care. However, timing and levels of direct care may vary among these species. Here, relying on both lab and field data, we address the variability found in father’s involvement with his infants, the behavioral, neuroendocrine and sensory systems that are a cause and consequence of paternal care, and social bonds between the breeding pair. We integrate studies of laboratory animals (where detailed observations and experimentation are possible) with field studies (which illuminate the ecological and evolutionary functions of paternal care) and discuss the future directions for examining the proximate and ultimate mechanisms of paternal care in nonhuman primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neurobiology
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neurobiology
ISSN (Print)2190-5215
ISSN (Electronic)2190-5223


  • Auditory
  • Behavior
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Nonhuman primates
  • Olfactory
  • Paternal care
  • Social bonding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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