Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Colgate eat your heart out.

In our picture today, you can see MonaLisa and Mañiña arguing about a toothbrush. MonaLisa has just cleaned her teeth. Just off picture, Rosita is demanding her turn and Mañiña is getting very pushy about it. They are not taught to do this and beyond the initial shock of the strong peppermint flavor they seem enjoy cleaning their teeth. This is not just knawing the brush. They really do give their teeth a scrub. Given the chance, all our monkeys like brushing. MonaLisa will reject a brush that does not have toothpaste on it. This is one of the imponderables about domesticated Howler monkeys. I can understand why they like to use the loo. In the forest, they position themselves on a branch overlooking a stream or river for defecation. It is no great step from a branch to a loo seat. They are over water. I do not understand why they love to clean their teeth with a toothbrush. I think it must be more than just mimicry although I cannot think of a parallel in nature except that they use their beards like a brush, yes even the ladies have beards, to mark out their territory with an enzyme in their spittle.

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