Aye-ayes are the true champions of nose picking.
A new video provides the first evidence that Madagascar’s nocturnal lemurs stick their toes up their noses and lick mucus. Nor do they use any finger for the job, either. Primates spelunking for snot with an ultra-long, sharp middle finger they use to find fish and tree bark.
A reconstruction of the aye-aye’s internal head based on CT scans shows that this spiny finger probably mimicked all the way through the animal’s nose to reach its throat, researchers report online on October 26. Journal of Zoology.
“This is an excellent example of how science can serve human curiosity,” said Michael Haslam, a London-based primate archaeologist who was not involved in the new work. “My first one was that it’s a cool – and a bit creepy – video, but” [the researchers] “What on Earth?” we must actually investigate what happens inside the animal. “
New footage of Kali stars, always a woman always (Daubentonia madagascariensis) at the Lemur Leader Center in Durham, NC. “I was wondering which finger to go with.” Censor is always smaller than a house cat, but the claws of the middle finger are some 8 centimeters long. And Kali lowered almost the whole finger of her nose into the precipice to lick his nose delicately.
“There is one moment where the camera is” [shaking]and I was giggling,” said Fabre, at the natural history museum in Bern, Switzerland. Later, he asked his colleagues if they ever pulled their noses in disgust. “Those who worked a lot with the ayes would say to me, ‘Oh, I remember, it happened often,'” says Fabre, who later witnessed the behavior of the ayes in several other lifetimes.
This got Fabre and his colleagues curious about how many other primate species have been caught with fingers in their noses. The researchers reviewed the literature for past studies and the Internet about other viewing behaviors.
Unfortunately, “most of the letters we find are jokes,” Smith says. “I was really surprised that there is a lot of literature among animals on other species with quite large behaviors, such as coprophagy, or eating poo.SN: 7/19/21). But among all the falsified articles, the team found true reports of primates picking their noses, including research done by Jane Goodall in the 1970s.
Aye-ayes are now 12 known species of primates, including humans, to pick their noses and search for snot, the researchers found. Others include gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and macaques. Nose-blowers tend to be primates who have particularly good dexterity in the use of tools.
“The team [has] “gave us the first map of nose reading across our primate family tree, which immediately raises questions about how much of this behavior is out there, becoming invisible or unknown,” Haslam says. He remembers once a capuchin monkey using a branch or a trunk to pick his nose.SN: 9/6/15).
“I’m surprised there aren’t more reports about nose picking, especially from zoos where animals are observed every day,” Haslam adds. “Perhaps our social familiarity with it means that scientists are less likely to want to tell animals about nose reading, or even to think that it’s too common to be interesting.”
The fact that so many species of primates have been spotted picking their noses and eating predators makes Fabreus and Haslam wonder if this bad habit seems to have some unknown advantage. Perhaps eating germ-derived boosts boosts the immune system.
For now, the evolutionary origins and potential of the nose, unexplained by reading, require a fuller assessment of what species – primitive or otherwise – mine and much of its mucus.
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