Sunday, May 10, 2015

Wishing a safe Mother's Day to all the primates of the world

White-faced Capuchins, mother and child, in Costa Rica.  Photo by Sally Kneidel

Mother orangutan with newborn, refuge in Borneo. Photo by Sally Kneidel
I wish a safe Mother's Day to all the wildlife mothers across the world.  Especially the world's primates, most of which are threatened or endangered.

Primates are special, for me.  Most animal mothers don't provide any maternal care whatsoever.  Instead, they lay eggs and abandon them, never seeing their own babies. That includes most (but not all) fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, crustaceans, etc. There are lots of exceptions in those groups, but I'm saying the majority do not provide parental care. That's just they way they've evolved.  To compensate for high mortality in their young, they make a lot of eggs.  It's a strategy that works, or else they wouldn't still be around. 

Birds and mammals are different as a group in that they all provide some degree of maternal (or paternal) care for their young. They invest huge amounts of energy into feeding their young, cleaning them, keeping them warm, protecting them from predators, and so on.  Because the young require so much effort, the parents generally have very few offspring. 
Long-tailed Macaque sharing food with baby, Sacred Monkey Forest in Bali

I love seeing primates and their babies. To me, primates share our essence -- they can be tender, loving, playful, and smart.  But unlike humans, they're innocent. They're not destroying the planet!

Today, on Mothers Day, I'm celebrating some of the primate mothers and babies I've photographed around the world. These pics were taken in some of my happiest moments - seeing primates doing their own thing in their natural habitats. I am very grateful for those opportunities.

Help protect the world for animals that can't fight back. Work to stop habitat destruction due to global warming.  One way to do that is to get involved with Greenpeace (  I recommend it.  Greenpeace is a hard-working, dedicated group of people I'm proud to volunteer with.