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Picking your nose in the name of science

The magazine Science reveals the first documentation of its kind of a capuchin monkey trying to make itself conscious by inserting a stick into its nose, the sticks are tools with which the monkeys move rocks to hunt lizards that are underneath them

A hooded cashier inserts a stem into his nose to induce sneezing. Screenshot from a YouTube video of the Science site
A hooded cashier inserts a stem into his nose to induce sneezing. Screenshot from a YouTube video of the Science site

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Wipe away the tears with your finger or a tissue (use tools! use tools!) You decide for yourself how exciting and/or innovative or significant this new piece of information is or not at all. In the following video, published on the website of the journal Science, you can see Kopifa poking her nose with a stick

It is no longer surprising that a primate, an ape, who does not belong to the human species uses tools. But for nose probing? This is what a capuchin fund called Action did in a national park in Brazil.

Males of this new world monkey species are famous for using sticks as tools - they stick them under rocks and into crevices in the ground and thus drive lizards out. But after a decade of observations of this group of 54 monkeys, the researchers almost never saw a female using tools. So they were quite surprised when you observed Akcia shoving a small stick up her nostril several times and sneezing as a result.

She repeated the action with several sticks and even a blade of grass, testing and licking (ugh) the technological probe after each visit to the nostril, as the researchers report. She used sticks to pick her teeth as well. It is possible that Akcia tried to clean the nostril and it is possible, as suggested by one of the researchers, that she used it to store food in case of a find.
However, the use of tools for this task is very rare. There is one report from 1999 of a male chimpanzee at a research site in East Africa who acted similarly during a flu epidemic, apparently to clear his blocked nose. And another report, about long-tailed macaws living in a temple in Thailand, reveals the following pattern of behavior: the monkeys pull hair from women who visit the place and then use the hairs like dental floss to remove leftover food from between their teeth. But no one has yet observed such behavior in capuchin monkeys.


For information on the Science website

2 תגובות

  1. I was left stunned at the sight of the innocent monkey carrying out his plot with an innocent stick and more in a farce. Who knows if it was in a zoo and children were exposed to it. It's amazing how similar monkeys are to humans (if I say identical) just yesterday I caught my father poking his nose with a toothpick and it amazed me.

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