Monday, 28 May 2018

Bonobo Midwives

They have noticed the bonobo's girth
And they know what a friendship is worth
So the midwives come round
Good advice they expound
And they help, with great care, at the birth

My research means I am always interested in the social life of animals and how it relates to how our own species behaves.  This week's limerick is based on the behaviour of bonobos when one of them is giving birth. Birth is clearly a social event where female attendants provide protection and support for the mother-to-be, including manual gestures directed at holding the infant as it is born.
I was alerted to this in an article in this week's New Scientist based on the paper "Is birth attendance a uniquely human feature? New evidence suggests that Bonobo females protect and support the parturient" by Elisa Demumu et al in Evolution & Human Behaviour.

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