Monday, 9 November 2015

Tidy Monkeys Shed Light on Human Cleanliness

by Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News   |   November 04, 2015 12:43pm ET

Japanese macaques are so tidy that they even wash their food in salt water, and now a new study finds that these monkeys have fewer parasites than other primates that are not nearly as careful.

Female Japanese macaques, in particular, are grossed out by sometimes disease bearing things like poop, suggesting that feelings of disgust help to fuel cleanliness, and thereby healthiness, among all primates, including humans.

The findings, published in the journal Biology Letters, could carry over to other animals with tidy tendencies too.

 “There are a few other accounts of animals washing food in water, like captive chimpanzees and capuchins, which both seem to wash specifically to remove debris from food items,” co-author Andrew MacIntosh of Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute and Wildlife Research Center told Discovery News.

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