Rarely would one see a monkey baby with such expressive eyes, it’s almost like seeing a human infant in him. It fact his temper tantrum is markedly different from that of many other babies which almost always ends in just the universal open-mouth crying grimace and crawling and cowering around. He seems to use more of his eyes to show his anger, frustrations, sadness and ultimately fear. Humans are the only primates ( or indeed any animals ) to show the whites of their eyes to allow subtle emotions to be conveyed in our gaze and in Dopey I could almost see the dawning of this capability in his tantrum. Given time he and his breeds may eventually evolve just to do so, and with that the beginning of a more complex facial language. He is also one of the cleverest babies around, in a few weeks’ time there would be one episode which pits him against other babies in a crisis situation and he really shines in it. Only Knotty could match him.
There’s still crying but a lot less so than other babies. His eyes could speak !
This baby’s brain seems to be wired differently to other babies and it seems his delay in developmental milestones could also be related to this. Once his wiring was complete he has caught up with his peers in no time.
If Reddy manages to produce another baby this summer it would just be interesting to see how his sibling would compare with him. My guess is he or she will be more like an average monkey baby and Dopey is really an anomaly, truly one of a kind 🙂
The unconventional tantrum of Dopey
Remember the infamous Baby-Snatcher Aggy ? She’s the only female in Bossy’s troop to have been observed with “ kidnapping a baby’.
How true is this ? That the alleged victim actually survived for 2 weeks suggests to me that there’s more to it than meets the eyes. Someone must have been nursing the baby in the interim period multiple times ( my observation is that a baby would at least require 2 nursing sessions in one afternoon alone ) and that someone was none other than the biological mother herself as only a lactating female dedicated to this baby in question could sustain its life, not for a day but for nearly 2 weeks. So by all likelihood the “kidnap” did happen at least with the consent of the biological mother considering how protective rhesus macaque mothers are to their babies – even Gypsy the lowest ranking breeding female would come down to fight Cocky when the latter was lashing out at poor lil Knotty during a feeding session gone wrong. In the rhesus world hierarchy is no longer sacrosanct if it comes between a mother and her baby. Indeed we have seen how Reddy protested when the matriarch Bossy hit Dopey before. Looking back I think my footage actually caught the actions of an inept young female on two occasions trying to aunt an infant. She probably was under the influence of hormones as she had just gone into oestrus first time in her life.
It is all very interesting to see how the shrouds of mystery surrounding Aggy gradually peels away – from the alleged baby molester to one more of an overbearing young mother. The psychology involved must be fascinating to read but unfortunately we just do not know but I’m more than certain now that Aggy is never a baby-snatcher to start with. She just hadn’t learnt the etiquette to ask the permission to nurse, like Dopey’s aunt has demonstrated here.
See it done properly – but Dopey’s fussy so it didn’t help 🙂
She must have had a rather isolated upbringing with very few aunts to learn from. She did it the hard way but so far had escaped unscathed because of her inherited high rank in the troop. But she did learn with time and indeed she has never been seen since to try to forcefully aunt another baby. She is now finally getting used to be a mother herself 🙂
Everything should be taken with a grain of salt