Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How do Monkeys Not Fall?

I'd like to see you swing through the trees Mr Human
The question I was asking myself the other day when I saw a number of monkeys jumping from high in the canopy and catching on to branch after branch and making it look as simple as if a human was taking it's next step was, why don't they fall?  I wanted to do a little research on, why this was so easy for them because any other species on the planet it would be considered suicide trying to make this happen.

When I was watching this I was not thinking of their prehensile tail which some monkeys have basically as a 5th hand. What I was thinking about is their ability to judge on the dime everytime the distance of each branch and jump.

What I found out in reading "A Neo-Tropical Companion" was that monkeys without the prehensile tail actually face a smaller lifetime reproductive success because of the risk of falling. I have never seen this but YES monkeys do miss calculate, fall from trees, and become part of the decompisition of the eco-system.

Monkey's 3D Vision

Then I found the answer that I think I was looking for:  Monkeys have Stereoscopic Vision. This is basically 3-D vision which allows the monkeys to measure depth perfectly traveling at high speeds. This allows the monkey not only to be able to judge the exact distance they jump but also the exact size of the branch they plan to lend their life to as they grab on to it.

Costa Rica Family Vacation

Costa Rica has four different species of monkeys and if you want to see them all then join us on a family vacation!

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