These Monkey's Act like Humans

New Study Shows That Macaques Males Form Friendships

by Helen Zhang, age 13

Scientists have known for sometime that female macaque monkeys form strong social bonds among themselves, typically with other female relatives. Recent studies published in the journal, Current Biology, show that males do the same.

Macaque monkeys commonly live in groups of 50 to 60. However, “every male in the group has a few other males he interacts with more than others,” says Oliver Schülke, lead author of the study.

For over five years, Dr. Schülke and colleagues from the University of Göttingen studied male Assamase macaques in Thailand. They monitored various behaviors toward other males and found that they bonded by grooming each other. These bonds seem to lead to temporary alliances among males, which helped improve rank and social status. However, it is still unclear why some friendships between the monkeys last longer than others. Some of these friendships break up after a short time.

This study shows that monkeys may be more similar to humans than we previously thought. In Fact, just like humans, these monkeys actually make friends.

[Sources:  The New York Times]

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