Monkey tricks

Even science writing geeks have to take breaks from science writing, especially when it’s been brain-meltingly hot – that’s my excuse for not posting last week and I’m sticking to it.

Blog posts on research papers will appear later this week, which promises to be another scorcher. In the meantime, I urge you to stay cool by drinking some monkey intelligence Kool-Aid.

When a colleague told me this morning about Japanese monkeys escaping from a lab by using tree branches to catapult themselves up over a high-voltage 17-foot high fence, I was sure he was babbling as a result of sunstroke. But it turns out to be true.

I know from reading Robert Sapolsky’s “A Primate Memoir” that even untrained monkeys have some pretty mad improv. skills, but this was really too good (even though my opinion of the ingenuity of these simian ninjas was brought low when I found out how they were re-captured). Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any footage of this great monkey escape.

So I urge you instead to check out this fantastic Nat. Geo video of the cutest, most curious chimp, ever, who discovers a camera within his/her habitat. This is wildlife filming at its best.

Curious chimp

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