Thursday, May 17, 2007

I am nuts over you.

Our first picture shows Totto and Sophie with some peanuts. They do not have to be taught how to separate the shell from the nut. They know this instinctively. The text books tell us that although howlers have five digits in their hands, none of them are opposite so cannot act as a thumb. I beg to differ. Totto is holding a nut in his left hand, firmly between his THUMB and his forefingers. He occasionally uses his right hand to manipulate the nut. I would class him as left handed. It would be interesting to do a study here at Cañaote of ‘handedness’ and separately ‘play’ among children in semi captivity.

Dietary differences between howlers in the wild and those in captivity can predicate differences in behavior. If some of you scientists want to take on the study, tell me.

In the second photograph he uses his right hand to rotate the nut. Note the position of the thumb.

Sophie looks on with an expression of admiration on her face that says ‘I am nuts over you

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