Wild vervet monkeys in South Africa are better able to learn a task when it was demonstrated by a female.

The team compared animals’ responses to demonstrations of a simple box-opening task, which was demonstrated either by a dominant male or female monkey….

They gave the monkeys boxes containing fruit, which had doors on each differently coloured end.

During an initial demonstration, the researchers blocked one of the doors, so there was only one correct way to solve the box-opening puzzle and access the fruit reward.

For three of the groups, a dominant male monkey was selected as a “model” to demonstrate the task and for the other three a dominant female was chosen….

After this “demonstration phase”, the other monkeys were far more likely to try – and to succeed in – opening the fruit box if their demonstrator was a female.

“We found that bystanders paid significantly more attention to female than male models,” said Ms van de Waal.

Well, I pay more attention to females also.  Would a correct interpretation be that paying more attention to females will make a monkey of you?

via BBC News – Monkeys learn more from females.

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