Life as We Know It
Butterfly GPS, glowing mushrooms, bat-hunting songbirds and more
- By Amanda Bensen, Abby Callard, T.A. Frail, Abigail Tucker and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, December 2009
Rhesus macaques interact with babies by cooing for infants. (Thorsten Milse / Robert Harding Picture Library LTD / Alamy)
We aren't the only animals to make fools of ourselves mugging and cooing for infants. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health say rhesus macaques interact with babies in a similar fashion, smacking their lips and making prolonged eye contact. Goofy or exaggerated expressions may serve a similar purpose in monkeys and people: helping the young learn to communicate.
Learn more about Rhesus macaques at the Encyclopedia of Life.
"Luminescent Mycena: new and noteworthy species," Dennis E. Desjardin et al., Mycologia, October 6, 2009.
"Great tits search for, capture, kill and eat hibernating bats," Péter Estók et al., Biology Letters, September 9, 2009.
"Reciprocal Face-to-Face Communication between Rhesus Macaque Mothers and Their Newborn Infants," Pier Francesco Ferrari et al., Current Biology, October 8, 2009.
"Antennal Circadian Clocks Coordinate Sun Compass Orientation in Migratory Monarch Butterflies," Christine Merlin et al., Science, September 25, 2009.
"Multiyear multiple paternity and mate fidelity in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis," S. L. Lance et al., Molecular Ecology, October 5, 2009.