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UK Mandrills Video Shows Monkeys Use Crude Tools to Give Pedicures

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In The News

Again it's the same argument: Monkeys may be more intelligent than man thought. Perhaps it's man that needs the reassessment. Mandrill monkeys in the UK have now been spotted giving pedicures in July--using twigs as 'crude' tools.
In a UK study, a mandrill monkey was caught on film in July 2011 -- stripping bark from a stick, to make a handy tool. It seems the primate wanted tool to get out that filthy dirt from under its toenails, at least according to Durham University scientists.
In the Journal Behavioural Processes, scientists say five species of Old World monkeys now noted -- or physically observed -- making 'crude' tools. The primates may argue those tools are less than crude, considering they haven't got a lot to work with.
Until now, humans thought the behavior with crude tools was limited to humans. Unbelievably, those primates are starting to earn their keep -- proving they, too, can use tools. Or perhaps used them first.
Great Apes including orangutans and chimps have been seen modifying grass into rods -- to effectively extract termites from mounds. And chimpanzees have been known to use a stick or twigs for handy things, like utilizing the tool for termite-gathering --- raking the tool across their teeth in efforts to produce a 'brush' that gathers up those termite critters.
Mandrill monkeys have additionally cleaned their ears using crude tools like twigs to help prevent ear infection in the wild. But scientists say the pedicure action is a first for those behind bars -- in captivity. Basically, the monkeys have more time on their hands while hanging out a zoo. They have to focus less on things like food and hunting, and look what pops up: Just like humans who don't have to worry about food or a roof over their head on a daily basis, hygience and beauty come into play.
Those neat little critters.


United Kingdom
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