What is it about?

Spider monkeys have a prehensile tail that can be used like a hand to pick up objects. We show that monkeys have strong side preferences (like handedness in humans) when using their tail to solve food puzzles like fishing a floating marshmallow out of a container of water.

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Why is it important?

Monkeys do not have tail preferences when they wrap their tail around their body at rest. Tail wrapping does not require skill like object manipulation. These data help us understand lateralization in primates.


I wrote this article with a former undergraduate student. Students are an integral part of my research team. Visit our website in the resources link to learn more about our work.

Dr Eliza L Nelson
Florida International University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Goal-directed tail use in Colombian spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) is highly lateralized., Journal of Comparative Psychology, February 2018, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/com0000094.
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