Monkeys are less cuddly with each other when dealing with an infection, study finds

Brandi Wren (Purdue PhD 2013), Ian Ray, Thomas Gillespie, Melissa Remis and Joseph Camp have a new publication in PLOS One! Brandi Wren, an RRG member and Visiting Scholar in the department of anthropology at Purdue University studied social distancing and infections for her dissertation research–Social grooming in the animal kingdom is common and serves several functions, from removing ectoparasites to maintaining social bonds between conspecifics. In this article, we examined whether time spent grooming with others in a highly social mammal species was associated with infection status for gastrointestinal parasites. Purdue News Feature April 21, 2021 Read more here.

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Photo Brandi Wren Vervet monkeys grooming, South Africa

Social grooming plays an important role in vervet monkey society. Remis Research Group research reveals that monkeys suffering from certain gastrointestinal parasites may not participate in grooming as much as monkeys without infections.

About Melissa Remis

Department Head and Professor of Anthropology, Purdue University
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