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Monkeys use researchers as human shields

Flickr/Donald Macauley (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Monkeys use researchers as human shields

A team of researchers in South Africa believes monkeys may be using their presence to guard against predators, according to a paper published online earlier this month in Behavioral Ecology. Though samango monkeys spend most of their time in trees avoiding predators on the ground and in the canopies above, researchers noticed that when observed by humans, the monkeys preferred to climb down to eat food from the jungle floor. The findings call into question claims of “habituated” wildlife—animals that are so used to human presence they no longer react to it, The Independent reports.

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