Monkeys Revolt!

Monkeys can be quite shocking creatures in their similarities to humans. For instance, much like protesters on Wall Street, Capuchin monkeys also revolt against unequal pay. In a science experiment done by Frans De Waal, it is apparent that Capuchin monkeys have an issue with injustice.

In the experiment, they had two monkeys perform the same task. Initially, the two monkeys both received the same reward for completing the task: a piece of cucumber. The task was simply to pick up a rock and set it in the scientist's hand. After awhile, of rewarding both monkeys with cucumber, the scientists switches it up and begins to reward one with a grape, while still rewarding the other with cucumber. You could immediately see the pressure cooking inside the monkey’s mind, as this only had to happen one time before the monkey who was given cucumber reacted to the injustice, and threw the cucumber back at the scientist, showing clear frustration by rattling the cage and hitting the ground.

The monkey continued to protest until it, too, was fed grapes.

This clearly demonstrates the monkey’s ability to observe inequality and act accordingly. We really aren’t so different after all, us and monkeys. Capuchins have also been recorded bluffing other monkeys in order to get food (lying about their being danger on the ground, so they can grab hidden food), and even instances of Apes, who have learned sign language, lying and joking with humans and other Apes.

Fascinating stuff, aren’t they? I often wonder if monkeys are beginning to evolve to be more human like, or if they still hold many secrets that humans have yet to discover.