Sometimes, weeks can go by without any news about monkeys. And then sometimes, the monkey news stories rain down upon us like… well, I’m not sure. Anyway. Metafilter has just pointed me in the direction of a piece in the Christian Science Monitor detailing the behavior of macaques in the presence of flying squirrels, and it’s quite interesting:
“When Japanese giant flying squirrels glided over to a tree in the monkeys’ vicinity, adults and adolescent macaques started hollering at it threateningly, the researchers report. Young macaques screamed and mothers scooped up their infants, while adults and high-ranking males in particular went and physically harassed the offending squirrel.
…Other woodland creatures, including hares, deer and wild boars, barely elicit a response from macaque groups, said Onishi, though dogs and people will sometimes instigate alarm calls and a fleeing from the immediate area.”
At first I wasn’t sure how this story affected me. Then I looked closer at the lede, which read, “The research could pave the way for advanced methods of enraging monkeys.” Ha ha, Mr. Science Writer. I know from the use of “go bananas” in the next paragraph that this whole article is written in a fairly tongue-in-cheek manner, but let’s not enrage the monkeys; whatever we deal out will be sure to come back in spades.