APR 26, 2020 4:43 AM PDT

These Macaques Slap Their Food Scavenging Competition

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

One thing that lion-tailed macaques and Malabar giant squirrels have in common is a passionate love for the taste of jackfruit. These are massive fruits that are almost as big as the animals themselves, and they’re so tasty that the two species become bitter rivals when it comes to choosing who gets to take the prize home.

As you might come to expect, the macaques use their advanced primate intelligence to ensure their scavenging success. They wait for the Malabar giant squirrels to use their keen sense of smell to detect the perfect vine-ripened jackfruit, and its then that they go in for the taking.

Humorously, the macaques quite literally ‘slap’ the squirrels to let them know who the boss is before taking the jackfruit away. Most of the squirrels appear to just sit there, stunned in disbelief. Others back away slightly, giving room for the macaque to take the fruit.

In some instances, the squirrels stand their ground, refusing to move away from the fruit. But the macaques have a response tactic for these stubborn squirrels as well. After gnawing on the jackfruit’s vine, it falls to the ground where other macaques can snack it.

Indeed, it seems, that the macaques are the original lunch time bullies after all…

Related: These Thailand-based macaques have adapted their stone tool usage to something new

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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