How the Macaque Remove Plaque

flossing-macaque

Not so long ago, it was believed that one of the things that made humans unique among animals was our ability to make tools. Then that theory was blown out of the water byJane Goodall’s observation of chimps in Tanzania.

But here’s some particular tool use we’ve not seen before (via KOVR/CBS13 Sacramento):

A research team from Japan’s Kyoto University, filming the activities of crab-eating macaques in Lopburi, north of Bangkok, found that some mother monkeys taught their infants how to clean their teeth using human hairs.

They appeared to be flossing in the same manner as humans.

Amongst a group of about 250 monkeys, about 100 have taken up flossing.

It was found that female monkeys, particularly mothers, tended to spend twice as much time flossing their own teeth.

When flossing while their children were watching, researchers found that mothers exaggerated their gestures, suggesting they were deliberately teaching their infants.

Check out the video here.


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A humanistic, holistic dental practice in Northern California, providing integrative, biological, mercury-free dentistry
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1 Response to How the Macaque Remove Plaque

  1. Pingback: Are You Only Partway Cleaning Your Teeth? « The Holistic Dentist

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