” Copy cat behavior in monkeys strengthens bonds”

Human babies learn by mimmicing the behaviors, and words of the parents. Will you Capuchin new world monkeys mimmic the scientis mannerisms that are caring for them?

When the Capuchins are home in the rainforests of Central and South America they

Imitation best form of affection and learning

Imitation best form of affection and learning

are very social and  live in large troops of 10 to 35 members. Thus are exposed to interactions with a large number of senior monkeys. They learn to hunt, adapt to having people in their home turf, range over large areas to find food. They communicate with each other using various calls.

So researchers wanted to see if these very intelligent and skilled monkeys would mimic their behavior and adopt it as their own.

To see if monkeys through imitation bonded with the researchers,they first devised a food experiment. So using a Wiffle ball filled with food the ball was given to the monkey. The researcher copied the animals behavior and observed how the primates reacted.

“The capuchins either tried to bite directly into the ball, poke into its holes, or they just banged it on the floor to see if anything fell out. Then one human mirrored the monkey’s behavior, whereas another scientist acted out one of  two other ball maneuvers.

Who the monkeys prefer to watch?

Usually they watched the person who copied their behavior.
Next the experiment became more complex After repeating the Wiffle ball experiment, a monkey was given a token that it could exchange for food from either the mimicking or the nonmimicking researcher. “From a monkey’s perspective, it shouldn’t have mattered where to go; he would get the same thing,” Annika Paukner, a comparative behaviorist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and lead author of the study published online today in the journal Science explains. “But the monkeys consistently chose the imitator.”

Seems closer bonding happens through imitation.


Excerpts courtesy of

courtesy of Rainforest-alliance.org/resources.cfm?idcapuchin_monkey

Image courtesy of  Sciencenewsforkids.org/20050810/a841494.54.1.BB.FOB.jpg

Image courtesy of


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