Monkey Butt(er)

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12 Responses:

  1. Don Hopkins says:

    How did he know that would work??!

    • jwz says:


      • Don Hopkins says:

        They need a warning sign at the zoo:


        Please do not toss peanuts at monkey, or else zookeeper will have to lick his butt.

        • Joe says:

          I'm sure that totally wouldn't have the opposite effect.

          Thinking I might have to find a female Chinese gastroenterologist...

    • Nick Lamb says:

      They didn't know, they just suspected. The second link says it's known that adult monkeys do this to their young. Without any obvious reason not to try it, that seems like enough reason to give it a go.

  2. Rick O says:

    The second article mentions it: it's common for mothers of a number of species to do this to their newborns to teach them how to defecate. My wife has hand-reared a number of exotic animals, and she's had to do this same trick -- though she just rubs gently with a damp, warm washcloth -- to several newborns. In effect, you're just telling the newborn "it's this muscle right here that you need to use to get that bad full feeling to go away".

    • jwz says:

      In other words: many animals cannot in fact find their ass with both hands.

    • skreidle says:

      That applies to domestic mammals as well -- kittens and puppies, at least -- which I understand to be an ancestral safety net. If the young can solo-crap willy-nilly, they'll leave far too much scent around, increasing the chance that the den will be discovered and everyone eaten. However, if the only way they can Go is via stimulation from mom, who ingests the offal, there's no excess scent left behind.

      Sensibly nasty, if you ask me.

      • Elusis says:

        When you have a litter of orphaned kittens who have a tendency to direct their nursing instinct at whatever is within reach, you then get the comically nasty result of one kitten regularly pooing on another's head. (Not that I have seen this first-hand; I have a kitten-pusher, er, friend who does rescue all the time and likes to amuse with tales of Nature Gone Awry. Apparently a recent litter had two silver-white boys who wound up needing frequent baths because of this very thing.)

        (And no, she has never licked their butts. Warm washcloth all the way.)

    • NotTheBuddha says:

      I understand that's been a human nanny's trick as well.

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