Who Has the 'Cleaner' Bed: Chimps or Humans?
For the first time, scientists have compared microbes in human and chimpanzee sleeping areas. The findings may surprise you.
“Take your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty ape!”
Charlton Heston's line in the 1968 classic Planet of the Apes epitomizes the way most of us view our closest mammalian relatives.
But a new study published today in the journal Royal Society Open Science may lead us to question that reputation.
By swabbing abandoned chimpanzee nests in Tanzania's Issa Valley, scientists learned that just 3.5 percent of the bacteria species present came from the chimps’ own skin, saliva, or feces. In human beds sampled in a previous study in North Carolina, the number was a whopping 35 percent.
Parasites, such as ticks and fleas, were also scarce in chimp beds.
“We need to rethink what we think of as