Whoever Writes Headlines For The Christian Science Monitor Deserves A Raise

There are studies in monkey antagonism? Alas, if only I had known that there was money to be made by annoying monkeys, or that people were searching for ever more advanced ways to piss off small primates, my life may have turned out quite differently. I'm not saying I want to enrage our smaller cousins, just that I find it odd to learn that there are whole careers dedicated to such things.

Unfortunately for the forces of surrealism (but extremely fortunate for the macaques and anyone who cares about the humane treatment of animals) the behaviorists studying the animals seem to be viewing behavior in the wild and are not purposely engineering situations wherein flying rodents freak out monkey communities.

Biologists and psychologists have long studied macaques' complex social interactions for insights into human evolution and behavior.

However, much remains unknown about how macaques get along (or not) with other creatures. Better documentation of such encounters could reveal more about macaque societies as well as that of our shared primate forbears.

"Human evolution occurred alongside primate evolution from a common mammalian ancestor," Onishi told LiveScience. "Therefore, it is important to learn the evolution of primates in understanding the previous steps in human evolution."

So, yeah, not what the headline would lead one to believe. So huge props to the person who came up with this brilliant way of getting people to read a somewhat dull article about an animal behavior study. And thanks to boingboing for alerting me to the brilliance in the first place. Yay science!


Tracy said…
You have no idea what the government (ie you, the tax payer) spends money on in the name of science. But shh! Possibly irrelevant science has been paying my salary for years! And yes, it is all about the sexy title.
alimum said…
These monkey annoyance studies may have been funded by us, but who knows, maybe they have been funded by people who have a vested interest in pissing off small primates. People like, well, the lady whose apartment George painted in Curious George Gets a Job, Republicans who really can't stand that Bonzo got to hang with Ronald Reagan, Peter Gabriel and Toto (the dog, not the band)--hey, maybe they've formed an consortium dedicated to the irritation of small simians.

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