June 09, 2015

This is Fascinating...

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us news of ..... Protodogs!

Monkeys with PETS?! It's like the Planet of the Apes!

Actually this is a really interesting bit of info. Next Big Future notes a New Scientist article that concerns the recent discovery of African wolves that have developed a symbiotic relationship with baboons. This is similar in some ways to how it is hypothesized that dogs came about with early humans or their hominid ancestors.

 Even though the wolves occasionally prey on young sheep and goats, which are as big as young geladas, they do not normally attack the monkeys – and the geladas seem to know that, because they do not run away from the wolves.

"You can have a wolf and a gelada within a metre or two of each other and virtually ignoring each other for up to 2 hours at a time," says Venkataraman. In contrast, the geladas flee immediately to cliffs for safety when they spot feral dogs, which approach aggressively and often prey on them. 

While not specifically mentioned in the article, it looks plausible that the wolves might scare off predators, which would seem to be an obvious avenue for further study. 
The actual paper is here

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