DailyDirt: Smart Primates
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
It shouldn't be too surprising that primates (besides humans) can exhibit some pretty amazing complex behavior. We haven't quite managed to get enough skilled (real, not virtual) monkeys together with typewriters to reproduce the works of Shakespeare, but maybe they just need iPads and touchscreen keyboard input (because who hasn't gotten frustrated with a typewriter?). The more we watch our genetic cousins, the more we see how smart they are -- and could be. Here are just a few examples of smart monkeys.
- Capuchin monkeys are known to be social and cooperative animals, but it's still fascinating that when they observe humans acting selfishly, they'll reject offers of food from these 'dangerous' humans. The conclusion that these monkeys avoid selfish people might be a bit simplified, but this study adds to the evidence that monkeys can recognize fairness. [url]
- Chimpanzees know how to eat better than some people -- since these primates apparently eat certain foods at optimal times of the day when the nutritional benefit of their food is at its peak. Chimps may not consciously know that they're eating in a healthy way, but their dietary habits get them to eat various leaves near the end of a day when the sugar content of those leaves are highest. [url]
- Monkeys at New York City's Central Park Zoo have been observed whispering behind the back of a (human) zoo supervisor. Apparently, these monkeys hate this guy and had previously harassed him with loud screaming, but now they've been recorded whispering (and plotting?) behind his back after he leaves. (insert sinister music) [url]