Sexing a primate
This is a family-friendly blog, but you can’t introduce your kids to wildlife if they are squeamish about bottoms. We all have bottoms and to a biologist, knowing a bit about bottoms is a serious advantage!
One can spend weeks attempting to correctly sex all the individuals in a primate group, even with groups as small as 4 animals because:
a) It’s dark under the canopy. Yes, no sunburn risk whatsoever
b) The trees are really tall. Over 30 m high in some cases
c) The monkeys are black. Big bummer, this. Why couldn’t they be neon pink?
d) The monkeys are SMALL. They weigh the same as 2.5 apples. They are like severely underfed American squirrels or slightly obese Asian chimpmunks.
e) They never, ever, stay still. When filming tamarins, cameramen eventually slow down videos because a tamarin looks like it’s recently injected itself with adrenaline. All the time.
So when this happened, one day, it blew the FPI researcher’s mind.
Studying wild #primates is all about sexing. Yes, you heard that right. We take all kinds of stupid risks on the ground to get under a 300-gram monkey to see its bottom – just to know its sex, which is the key to eventually identifying it. So when, on my last day in the #jungle, every #monkey obligingly lined up to eat this delicious #anona – I literally jumped for joy. I'll never forget it – the whole group sexed in three minutes flat, a #monkeyrecord. Two ladies, one infant, and three lucky, lucky dudes: June 2008