Monkey Business

I recently came across a video on the BBC website at  which showed a monkey teaching her young to floss!  These macaques from Thailand were using human hair to clean the spaces between their teeth.   And when the macaques were watched by their infants, they spent twice as much time flossing, suggesting that the monkeys were teaching the young monkeys how to floss.

The monkeys were observed by Professor Nobuo Masataka of Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute who stated, “I was surprised because teaching techniques on using tools properly to a third party are said to be an activity carried out only by humans.” The study, taking place north of Bangkok, is still in the hypothesis stage.  The researchers want to also study whether the mothers’ flossing demonstration is effective in teaching the infants how to clean their teeth.

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