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Thursday, June 12, 2008

 

Long-Tailed Macaques Spotted Catching Fish

‘Long-tailed macaques eat mostly fruit — but when resources are scarce, they’ve been known to get creative with their cuisine. When living near humans, they raid gardens and learn to beg for food. Sometimes they even steal food from inside houses.

Now, for the first time, scientists have observed long-tailed macaques fishing with their bare hands. [..]

The macaques’ eyes scanned the water. After about three minutes, one of the macaques reached into the river. With her bare hands, she pulled out a fish and quickly ate it. Other macaques watched her — and one even tried unsuccessfully to catch a fish herself.

“Clearly it may raise the question of whether there is some sort of learning going on,” says Meijaard. “If perhaps a couple of generations back, one primate caught a fish and it was subsequently copied.”’




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