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Primates take weather into account when searching for fruits

nsistent with the idea that monkeys make foraging decisions on the basis of episodic (or "event-based") memories of whether or not a tree previously carried fruit, combined with knowledge of recent and present weather conditions and a more generalized understanding of the relationship between temperature and solar radiation and the maturation rate of fruit and insect larvae. The findings are also consistent with the idea that the evolution of primate cognitive skills has proceeded, at least in part, as a result of ecological challenges associated with foraging for intermittently available food such as ripening fruit.

*For expert commentary on this work, be sure to see the related Dispatch in this issue of Current Biology from Dr. Michael Platt: "Animal Cognition: Monkey Meteorology."


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Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
19-Jun-2006


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