Friday, July 24, 2009

Monkeys: they can make monkeys out of their elders

"Can monkeys mislead?", asks Jef Akst at The Scientist (03 June 2009, paywall).
Capuchin monkeys cry "predator" to trick more senior members of their troop into fleeing the dinner table, leaving more food for themselves, according to a ...
Here are some comments, andalso here.

I don't understand doubt as to whether monkeys can mislead when dogs and cats can do the same thing. Many are the cats who pretended to swallow a vet's pill I was administering. But - suddenly suspicious, I insisted on checking their gums, and sure enough, there the pill was, ready to be spit out in an obscure corner as soon as I wasn't looking. Later, I learned the trick of sticking the pill far below the cat's gag reflex, shutting its mouth, and raising its face toward the ceiling, while girdling its shoulders.

Sadly, the elderly felines never realized the relationship between the pills and their continued good health. They probably just thought I was being aggressive to demonstrate my superiority or something.

Another one for the "apes and monkeys (but not cats) are just like people" file, I guess ...

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