Barbary macaques have a mating season and a birthing season. The babies are born with very thin, dark fur. It takes a few months for their fur to turn light brown. Barbary macaque babies have wrinkly faces with big ears, and a tiny tail that looks like a little stump. This stump soon disappears under their fur. During the first few weeks the mothers carry their babies around on their stomachs, then the babies move to their mother’s back. Barbary macaque infants breastfeed until they’re one year old. The mothers have plenty of support raising their children: other female group members baby-sit the little ones from time to time.
In a group of barbary macaques, the babies get a lot of attention. All of the group members want to hold or carry the little ones! That’s because barbary macaques have special rules: when carrying a baby, you’re sometimes allowed to do things that otherwise aren’t allowed, such as sitting close to dominant group members. When the males are three or four, they leave the group in which they were born and join a new group. In general, females stay in their natal group for their whole life. They’re sexually mature from the age of four and can then give birth to their own babies.