Planet Earth

Monkeys with bad habits

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanOct 24, 2007 2:25 AM


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The death of an Indian politician due to a monkey mob is getting a lot of attention. But Ruchira Paul points me to an older story which I think is even more interesting:

They have invaded the prime minister's office and the Defence Ministry, helping themselves to top secret military files. ... Some 250 monkeys have already been relocated by a court order to forests in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. But many people there are now objecting, saying the animals are bringing with them their hooligan habits learnt in the city and are terrorising rural villages.

Slatehas more about the complexity of monkey behavior. We aren't the only species to facultatively shift our habits in response to opportunities in the environment. Here is a familiar bit, "Female victims might seek protection in a group of men, since monkeys are somewhat afraid of males." Rember the sexual harassing monkeys?

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