Scientists working in Brazil recently witnessed a heartbreaking scene involving a female marmoset who sustained a mortal head injury after accidentally falling from a tree. They then watched in amazement as her partner of three-and-a-half years climbed down to comfort her as she lay dying.
Is adopting a child a benevolent or a foolish act? If you were taking a cold evolutionary perspective, it would appear to be the latter. So why do many animals, including elephant seals and humans, do it all the time?
Marmosets are fluffy, 8-inch-long monkeys native to South America. They are also very polite. New research shows that these little mammals carry on lengthy, back-and-forth discussions without interrupting one another. This is a conversation style adopted by only one other kind of primate: humans.
Scientists have trained monkeys to meditate with marshmallows. This is a gift from both the comedy and the alliteration gods, but it's also a valuable medical technique.