Monkeys Unite and Form Unlikely Alliances After Hurricane Maria Ravaged their Island

Lauren Brent

An interesting new study seems to indicate that monkeys increase the size of their social circles during times of strife or resource scarcity.

Researchers observed Puerto Rico’s rhesus macaque populations on Cayo Santiago in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Maria, and observed each individual increase the amount of grooming activities, as well as the number of other monkeys groomed, following the disaster.

By the numbers, there was a greater than 50% increased chance that the monkeys would be seen grooming after the hurricane when compared to before, and they were four times more likely to be sitting close to another monkey.

Rhesus macaques are more closely related to humans than other monkeys, and the results…



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