Friday, 17 November 2017

Watch a monkey floss its teeth with a bird feather

10 November 2017

By Richa Malhotra

Monkeys living on an island have learned to use a startling variety of tools and techniques to obtain the juicy innards of different foods – and to floss their teeth afterwards.

The Nicobar long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis umbrosus) is only found on three islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. One of them is Great Nicobar Island.

To find out about the macaques’ eating habits, Honnavalli Kumara at the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History in Coimbatore, India, and colleagues followed 20 around a small coastal village on the island.

Will use anything
Many of the macaques’ favoured foods are thorny, slimy, hairy or mucky. To get rid of these inedible coatings, the macaques either wash the foods in puddles or wrap them in leaves and rub them clean. They also wrap leaves around certain foods to make them easier to hold. Trash like paper, cloth or plastic is also used for wrapping and wiping foods.

The macaques eat coconuts too, plucking them from the tree by twisting them around or using their teeth to cut them off. If it is tender, the macaques de-husk the coconut using their teeth, holding it down with their feet and hands, in order to get to the water and juicy bits inside.

If the coconut is ripe, however, they also have to crack its shell. To do so, they take it to a hard surface like a rock or concrete, and pound it.

It’s not just tool use. The macaques were seen beating bushes with their hands to disturb insects hiding within, catching those that fly out or drop to the ground.


No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis