'Cautious' monkeys can anticipate fights

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London, May 30 (ANI): Some monkeys have the ability to anticipate fights and take precautionary measures to avoid them, researchers have found.

Eugenia Polizzi di Sorrentino of Liverpool John Moores University, UK, and colleagues insist tufted capuchin monkeys pre-emptively groom each other to prevent rows.

As part of the study, a group of captive tufted capuchins were fed at the same time every day, leading to fights over the food.

The researchers observed that the monkeys groomed each other much more in the 30 minutes before feeding time, and that this led to fewer attacks during feeding.

Subordinate monkeys groomed dominants to get permission to feed next to them, and dominants groomed subordinates as a signal that they would tolerate them.

"They're anticipating a social stressor and taking action to prevent it," Lee says," New Scientist quoted Phyllis Lee of the University of Stirling, UK, as saying.

However, Polizzi di Sorrentino disagreed: "The capuchins are anticipating a future source of stress, becoming stressed about it in advance, and then grooming each other to relieve the tension."

The study has been published in Animal Behaviour. (ANI)

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