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September 19, 2003

Pay Peanuts Get Grumpy Monkeys

From Nature News:
Researchers Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal of Emory University recently published the results of a study focused on Capuchin monkey behavior. They taught the monkeys to trade plastic tokens for food. According to the article in Nature the monkeys were happy to trade the plastic token for cucumber, but if they saw a neighbor getting a grape in trade for the token, the short changed monkey was upset. About 80% openly rebelled if they saw a neighbor getting a grape for free. Rebellion often included refusing to make any trades or even throwing the token or cucumber clear of the cage. This behavior was primarily in the female monkeys. Primatologist Charles Janson explains that “Males care about sex, and females care about food. The males might not consider the food differences worth worrying about.”

“You need a sense of fairness to live in large, complex groups.”

Posted by Eric at September 19, 2003 12:07 PM | TrackBack
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