First Occurrence of Twins in Provisioned Free-ranging Tibetan Macaques (Macaca thibetana) at Huangshan, China

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Biological Sciences

Publication Date



A first case of newborn Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) twins was observed in a free-ranging group at Huangshan, China. The female that gave birth to the twins was studied during their first 5 months post-partum, and her activity budget was compared to those of adult females with single or no offspring in order to assess her behavioral changes. Our report shows that female Tibetan macaques can produce twins, and that twins can successfully survive. The adult female with twins spent more time foraging and resting, but less time moving and engaged in other social behaviors than adult females with a single infant or no infant. Our report provides a case of successfully surviving twins in a wild environment and suggests that the mother modified her behavior patterns to adapt to the heavy burden. We conclude that both food provisioning and the mother’s behavioral strategies facilitated the survivorship of twins. This expands our understanding of the reproductive biology of Tibetan macaques.


This article was originally published in Primates. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download through ScholarWorks @ CWU.




Copyright © 2012 Springer