Scientists are still watching monkeys to see if they can observe the ‘fat ass, junk food, vote for Bush’ effect, but so far American Homo Sapiens seem to be the only species with this peculiar ailment……
Male monkeys feel the pregnancy gain
By Clive Cookson
Published: February 3 2006 02:00 | Last updated: February 3 2006 02:00
The mysterious “couvades” effect, in which men put on weight during their partner’s pregnancy, has been observed for the first time in monkeys. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin- Madison Primate Centre found that male marmoset and tamarin monkeys added about 10 per cent to their girth while their mates were expecting.
Scientists had previously explained the couvades effect of sympathetic pregnancy (named after the French for hatching or incubating) purely in psychological terms. But Shelley Prudom, one of the Wisconsin researchers, says their work shows that this phenomenon that so many people know about is actually real, with a possible evolutionary purpose behind it.
Marmosets and tamarins are naturally monogamous, with fathers heavily involved in infant care. The Wisconsin study, published in the journal Biology Letters, suggests that male monkeys may be stocking up on pounds during pregnancy in preparation for the rigours of fatherhood.
The males somehow cue in to the cascade of hormonal changes going on in their mates before visible signs of pregnancy appear. This triggers changes in their own reproductive hormones.www.primate.wisc.edu