Intimate bromance brings peace, for monkeys
According to a new paper in the American Journal of Primatology, physical bonding among males in certain primate species correlates with less aggression within their communities.
In a habit that Tremaine Gregory of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute calls “piling up,” male monkeys will separate from their groups in order to hug, rub necks and groom each other.
Observed mostly among bearded sakis, which live in relatively large groups with up to 80 members, “piling up” seems to help males not only keep the peace between each other, but also helps them interact more easily with their female and juvenile counterparts. In fact, it’s this intimacy that the paper’s authors believe allow sakis to live in such large numbers, noting that a large number of males in one area can often lead to hierarchical tension. This cooperation also creates a stronger line of defense, allowing saki groups wider mobility and more access to food.
Could Judd Apatow be on the way to a Nobel Peace Prize for his film repertoire full of sensitive, tight-knit, man-to-man friendships?