Monday, 16 April 2018

Snow Monkeys Love Hot Baths Just Like Humans Do, and Now We Know Why

By Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer | April 4, 2018 07:17am ET

Japanese macaques, or "snow monkeys," have been spotted taking baths in man-made hot springs during winter for decades. Now, researchers have discovered exactly why the monkeys do this.

The results are not exactly Earth-shattering: The monkeys are cold.

But the researchers also found that indulging in a hot-spring bath may lower the monkeys' levels of biological stress.

"This indicates that, as in humans, the hot spring has a stress-reducing effect in snow monkeys," study lead author Rafaela Takeshita, of Kyoto University in Japan, said in a statement. "This unique habit of hot spring bathing by snow monkeys illustrates how behavioral flexibility can help counter cold-climate stress," Takeshita said. [Image Gallery: Sneezin' Snub-Nosed Monkeys]

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