Tokyo University’s Wildlife Research Center has discovered that a group of monkeys living on Awaji Island are more laid-back than all other monkeys in Japan. The cause of this, they claim, is a gene that dictates our gentleness.
Researchers put an ample supply of monkey bait within an 8 meter circle marked out on the group and then observed the monkeys. Of the monkey population on Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture a whopping 180 monkeys came out to enjoy the treats inside the circle together with minimal conflict.
When the experiment was repeated in Maniwa, Okayama 150 monkeys showed up to eat. However, rather than all monkeys kicking back and enjoying the food, they found that the strong monkeys hoarded the treats while chasing away the weaker monkeys. At any given time there were only 20 monkeys within the 8-meter circle.
Professor Miho Murayama of the Wildlife Center points out the presence of a hormone called oxytocin (not to be confused with the often abused painkiller OxyContin) which increases during childbirth. This hormone is said to have effects on both human and monkey aggression and bonding. Since the production of this hormone is dictate by our DNA it can vary from person to person.
Traditional thinking, however, dictates that the aggression in Maniwa’s monkeys is most likely linked to Marylin Manson, Doom, and that Snoopy Dogg Dog.
Source: Yomiuri Online (Japanese)