'Midwife' apes seen helping bonobos give birth - changing idea that assistance is unique to humans

Mail Online | 5/21/2018 | Mollie Cahillane For Dailymail.com
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Humans are not the only species that have assistance during birth, scientists have learned.

When our closest living relative, the bonobo, gives birth, other females gather around to help and protect the mother.

Account - Bonobo - Birth - 'midwives - Close

Before now, there has only been one scientific account of a wild bonobo giving birth; there, these 'midwives' stayed close to the mother.

But now, researchers have also observed the phenomenon on numerous occasions in captivity.

Elisa - Demuru - University - Pisa - Colleagues

Elisa Demuru from the University of Pisa and her colleagues witnessed three captive bonobos giving birth at primate parks in France and the Netherlands.

Unlike chimpanzees, the mother bonobos do not try and isolate themselves.

Apes - Birth - Fluid - Baby - Flies

he other apes stayed near her, sniffing birth fluid, attempting to grab the baby as it came out, and one even swatted flies away, according to New Scientist.

Demuru told the publication that some of the females had given birth before, suggesting they knew what was going on.

Apes - Towards - Mother - Bonobos - Humans

The apes were protective towards the laboring mother, keeping male bonobos and humans away from her.

'We believe they want to show the female that they are there to support and protect her in the phase in which she's most vulnerable,' said Demuru.

Groups - Females - Bonds

In bonobo social groups, the females usually aren't related. However, the bonds...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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