- Not Exactly Rocket Science
English monkey gives itself a pedicure with self-made tools
Animals use tools to get food, communicate with one another, defend themselves or even have a scratch. But in Chester Zoo, England, one monkey uses tools to give itself a pedicure.
Riccardo Pansini and Jan de Ruiter from Durham University watched a 18-year-old mandrill called JC clean his toenails out using small splinters. He made them himself, fashioning them from wood chips and twigs on the floor his enclosure, and honing them till they were small and sharp.
JC is the alpha male of the zoo’s six-strong group of mandrills. Over three months of observations, Pansini and de Ruiter saw JC give himself a pedicure seven times. On a couple of occasions, he ignored the wood altogether and