Reproduction And Infant Development

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In RNP, H. g. griseus individuals primarily mate in June-July and give birth in October-November, with a gestation length of about 137 days (Tan, 2000). Elsewhere, in Maroantsetra and ASR in particular, births can occur as late as January (Petter and Peyrieras, 1970; Pollock, 1986). Females generally produce a singleton but twinning has been reported in captivity. The interbirth interval is 1 year (Tan, 2000). Furthermore, H.. g. griseus exhibits infant parking behavior. Infants are orally transported from birth to 2 weeks of age before they are capable of clinging onto their mother. At 3 weeks, infants begin tasting solid foods, and at 6 weeks, they begin eating bamboo and other plants. Weaning occurs after 4 months (Tan, 2000).

Around Lac Alaotra, the birth season of H. g. alaotrensis starts in September and ends in February (Mutschler, 1999a). In both captive and wild populations, the rate of twinning is high (s 40%) (Mutschler et al., 2000; Nievergelt et al., 2002). The reproduction of the other H. griseus ssp. is unknown.

In RNP, H. aureus individuals have been observed to mate in July and August with births occurring in late November and December. The gestation length is approximately 138 days and females give birth to a single infant, once a year. Like H.g. griseus, H. aureus also parks and transports infants orally (Tan, 2000; Wright and Randriamanantena, 1989). Infants show interests in solid foods as early as 6 weeks old; they begin ingesting bamboo and other plant materials after 10 weeks of age. At 6 months, infants are weaned (Tan, 2000).

The mating season of H. simus in RNP is between May and June. After a gestation period of about 149 days, infants are born in October and November. The litter size is one and interbirth interval is 1 year. Unlike the two congers, H. simus does not practice infant parking. Mothers continuously carry their young for the first 4 months. Infants were observed feeding on bamboo at 8 weeks but they continue to suckle until they are 8 months old (Tan, 2000).

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Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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