When a lede mentions that "a new study in monkey-antagonism has found" research that "could pave the way for advanced methods of enraging monkeys" you keep reading and then start to ask questions. Questions like: "The hell?" and "Why does this exist?"
The study says that Japanese Macaques do not like to be in the presence of flying squirrels.
When Japanese giant flying squirrels glided over to a tree in the monkeys' vicinity, adults and adolescent macaques started hollering at it threateningly, the researchers report. Young macaques screamed and mothers scooped up their infants, while adults and high-ranking males in particular went and physically harassed the offending squirrel.
It goes on to say that the male monkeys might be attempting to impress potential mates or be confusing the flying rodent for an actual bird of prey.
Our tipster asked:
Question 1 - How many scientists are currently engaged in monkey-antagonism?
Question 2 - How are the basic methods of monkey-enragement failing us?
Those are good questions, certainly, but we need to go further. If monkeys, such as the ones in this study, are being observed and, well, studied because of the possible link between their behavior and humans', are these scientists looking to expand their focus to human antagonism and enraging?
If not, why are they studying them to begin with? Haven't we learned from movies like Outbreak and 28 Days Later that the monkeys are not to be antagonized or purposefully enraged? Isn't that how we lose our Patrick Dempseys and Kevin Spaceys to airborne pathogens?
So now we are curious. Are you a monkey-antagonist or someone in the monkey-enraging field? How did you get there? What batshit insane branch of zoology or biology did you study? Comment below and tell us your story.
Photo via Flickr
Monkeys hate flying squirrels, report monkey-annoyance experts [Christian Science Monitor]