why do mother monkeys drag their babies



Why Do Mother Monkeys Drag Their Babies?

It is a sight we have all seen one time or another: a mother monkey dragging her baby around. This behavior is perplexing and often misunderstood, so let’s take a moment to explore why do mother monkeys drag their babies.

Advantages To Draging

One of the primary advantages to dragging is the mother benefits from being able to reach her baby much quicker. When being attacked, the mother can spring into action and reach her babies faster. Her speed is made possible by dragging her baby as opposed to carrying them in her arms.

Another advantage of dragging is it also promotes the development of the baby’s coordination and muscle strength. Oftentimes, babies hold on to their mother and coordinate their movement with her to remain connected.

Other Reasons

Other than for the protection and well-being of their babies, mother monkeys also drag their babies for other reasons:

    • One primary reason is to teach the baby monkey the route and where to go. Especially when the baby is bigger and more active, the route that they need to take can be complicated, so it may help to show them the route firsthand.


    • They may also be teaching their baby manners. Unruly and disobedient babies often get dragged around, while well-behaved ones walk beside their mother.



Dragging the baby around may appear strange, but in reality it is an essential part of the mother-and-baby relationship for many kinds of primates. This behavior offers both protective and developmental benefits that go beyond simply teaching the baby monkey how to behave.

While humans don’t engage in this behavior, there are many things that humans and primates can learn from one another, and we must be respectful of the ways in which primates care for their young.