Posts tagged 'Monkey Panic'

Pacifying violent monkeys

One of the monkey species featured in Monkey Panic, Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are notoriously quarrelsome and violent, with many different vocal signals for aggressive situations 1.

The Squirrel Monkey (Genus Saimiri) and ‘urine-washing’

Seen in the game, squirrel monkeys (there are 5 different species) communicate using complex vocalizations and behaviours. The type of call associated with predator alerts is known as “Chucks” but these can also be used in mother-infant interactions and as sexual behaviour.

Welcome to Ethology!

Monkey Panic is all about behaviour; specifically that of different primates. The game focuses solely on spotting predators, but there is a whole scientific field dedicated to studying all animal behaviours. That field is called Ethology.

Nikolas Tinbergen and his 4 questions

A Dutch ethologist and ornithologist, Tinbergen received the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Lorenz and von Frisch for their work on animal behaviour.

Arguably Tinbergen’s most famous contribution were the ‘four questions’ around how and why an animal exhibited a certain behaviour. These were:

Can monkeys recognise themselves in mirrors?

The mirror test is meant to help indicate if a species is capable of higher level thinking- above and beyond just instinct.

The group of species that can recognize their own reflections in mirrors is an exclusive one. All great apes can (Humans, Bonobos, Chimpanzees, Orangutans and Gorillas), as well as Elephants, Bottlenose dolphins, Orcas and European Magpies.

The experiment setup is deceptively simple- a mark is placed on the animal and they are given a mirror, the idea being they pass the test if they manage to identify the mark, thus showing they are aware they’re looking at a reflection of themselves.

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