Macaque democracy, not dictatorship

Tonkean macaque

From New Scientist:

Macaques decide through democracy, not dictatorship

* 20 August 2008
* Devin Powell
* Magazine issue 2670

ANTS and bees are well known for their collective decision-making. Now the first evidence is rolling in to back up the theoretical models that mammals such as monkeys and deer can also reach decisions in a democratic way.

Odile Petit of the National Centre of Scientific Research in Strasbourg, France, studied Tonkean macaques native to Indonesia. For four months, she filmed two groups of 10 and 22 animals in an enclosed park.

Petit noticed that a group’s motivation to move always began with a single animal. It would advance 1 to 5 metres, glance back, and wait. Other animals then followed, eventually drawing in the whole group. Rarely, two monkeys might try to pull the group in opposing directions – one aiming for food, and the other for rest, for example. The remaining macaques then started to line up behind their chosen leader.

Barbary macaques: here.

Tourists upset Morocco Barbary macaque monkeys: here.

Macaques in farms and folklore: exploring the human-nonhuman primate interface in Sulawesi, Indonesia: here.

2 thoughts on “Macaque democracy, not dictatorship

  1. Pingback: Apes and monkeys evolution, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Barbary macaques un Morocco, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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