London, July 5 (ANI): Even the world's most peaceful and egalitarian monkeys can turn aggressive when starved of sex, say researchers.
Northern Muriquis in Brazil have a reputation of the "hippy monkey", however, the quiet image of the primates suffered a blow after scientists spotted a gang of six attacking and killing an adult male. he victim, an old male, died an hour after receiving savage bites to his face, body and genitals.
The muriquis peaceful reputation stems mainly from northern populations that feed on abundant leaves, and where males patiently queue to mate with females, reports New Scientist.
However, in the southern part, where the attack took place, fruit is more abundant, which the scientists believe may provide a vital clue to the assault.
According to the lead researcher Mauricio Talebi of the Federal University of Sao Paulo-Diadema, Brazil, since fruits are widely available female primates separate from the main group making them less available for sex with the males than in the north where everyone stays together to eat leaves.
Thus, lack of mates can make monkeys frustrated and aggressive.
The findings appear in American Journal of Primatology. (ANI)