Orangutan Moms Are The Primate Champs Of Breast-Feeding

Orangutans breast-feed up to nine years, longer than any other primate. That may help offspring survive food shortages. But humans may have gained a survival advantage from weaning earlier.
An orangutan mother and her 11-month old infant in Borneo. Orangutans breast-feed offspring off and on for up to eight years. Source: Tim Laman/Science Advances

When it comes to breast-feeding, orangutans are the champs.

Past studies of orangutans in the wild have found that mothers nurse their offspring for up to seven years, longer than any other primate.

But a new study of orangutan teeth suggests even that estimate is low, a team reports Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

The study found evidence that during periods when fruit and

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