The New York TimesThe New York Times

Some Monkeys Use Stone Tools for Pleasure, Study Suggests

By Emily Anthes

26 Aug 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

A recent study has found that monkeys will go to interesting lengths for self gratification. Read this article from the New York Times to discover what our primate pals are getting up to.

Many monkeys are skilled stone handlers, using rocks to dig up roots, cut plants and crack open an array of delicacies, including fruits and nuts.

But some monkeys also appear to be using stone tools for, erm, something else. In a paper published this month in the journal Ethology, researchers report that some macaques frequently rub or tap stones around their genitals, and that these behaviors are associated with signs of physiological arousal that other stone-handling actions do not prompt.

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