A funny sight: Monkey Do yourself a pedicure


25/07/2011

Doing the "pedicure" mandrills living in the Chester Zoo, led scientists to believe that monkeys are capable of wielding not only simple, but also more advanced tools. Scientists from the University of Durham in the UK, were videotaped as mandrill removes dirt under his fingernails, pre-make it suitable for a twig. They published details in the journal "Behavioural Processes".

Mandrills are the fifth overlooking Old World monkeys, which can deliberately use the tools. Not great apes, including chimpanzees and orangutans can apply the basic tools respectively specific jobs.

One well-known example of this behavior is fishing for termites, monkeys, chimpanzees, when the animals turned into a thin thread rod to push it to the mound and collect insects as bait for the fish. "This is - an ability that only a few years ago, was considered unique to humans" - said Dr. Riccardo Pansini (Riccardo Pansini), who led the research. New information as he said, indicate that the intelligence of monkeys may also be underestimated.

"The difference between monkeys and great apes is not so big as we first thought, in terms of the use of funds and modifications" - said the agency also Pansini BBC Nature.

Dr Pansini filmed the material in the course of studying the behavior of the zoo mandrills in stressful situations. His research was carried out in a specially-designed landscape for the animals, which implied the presence of bushes to allow animals to hide as in the wild. The footage, which managed to take the doctor Pansini, adult male mandrill clears found twig, apparently to make it more subtle. The animal then processed using a stick to scrape the dirt from under his fingernails.

Although scientists have been amazed by this deliberate processing tool to animals, Pansini said it does not surprise him. "It has been observed that the mandrills cleaned their ears, especially smasterennymi tools in the wild" - he told BBC Nature. "This is, by the scientists, helps animals to avoid the development of ear infections and, therefore, is of great importance in the behavior from the point of view of hygiene."

He believes that the content of the monkeys in captivity may be the cause of such behavior. "In captivity, the animals more time to perform tasks that are not focused on the search for food or mating" - he said. "So, in zoos, you can watch a little strange animal behavior." "In the wild world of" pedicure "is considered a routine procedure" - explains the researcher. "But specially made ear cleaning tool, probably allows animals to ease some of the pain in the ears.

Dr. Sid Amanda (Amanda Seed), an expert in the use of tools primates from the University of St. Andrews in the UK, praised the researchers for such interesting pictures, but noted that it was still not entirely clear whether the mandrill deliberately modeled the stick for a specific purpose - creation of a "tool for cleaning nails."

Original: BBC Translation: M. Potter


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