A catastrophic storm brought together over 100 monkeys living on a Caribbean island. New relationships help animals survive after a storm, As reported by a team in the journal “Current Biology”.
Scientists have been studying wild rhesus monkeys for decades (Macaca Mulatt) On Cayo Santiago, a small island near Puerto Rico. The colony has been continuously monitored since its inception in 1938 following the release of 409 animals originally captured in India. After Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, Camille Testard of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia and her colleagues investigated the consequences of the disaster for monkeys’ social interaction.
Relatively few adult macaques died in the six months following the storm. But Maria destroyed about two-thirds of the island’s vegetation, which could have increased competition for shade and food. The authors compared the observations of animal behavior before and after the storm and found that monkeys became more social after the storm: they used to sit close to each other and often beat each other.
Shy, isolated monkeys desired these connections more than sociable monkeys and befriended their friends’ friends. These connections could provide social support and valuable opportunities to relax in the sparse shade.
Web guru. Amateur thinker. Unapologetic problem solver. Zombie expert. Hipster-friendly travel geek. Social mediaholic.