28 July 2014
Monkeys use researchers as human shields
A team of researchers in South Africa believes monkeys may be using their presence to guard against predators, according to a paper published online earlier this month in Behavioral Ecology.
From daily The Independent in Britain:
The samango monkeys of South Africa usually have a good reason not to stray too far from the forest. Although they spend much of their time loping through the trees they know to keep within a certain range: climb too high and they’re targets for eagles, too low and they could be a big cat‘s lunch.
However, it seems there is an exception to this behaviour – and that’s when people are around. A new study from the journal of Behavioural Ecology reports that samango monkeys under observation by scientists use the researchers as “human shields”, counting on their presence to avoid being picked off by a leopard.