Science

Monkey see, monkey do? Sleight-of-hand magic trick only fools monkeys with opposable thumbs

Monkeys may not be able to read a newspaper or write a blog post, but they can still be fooled. Researchers from the University of Durham have found that a simple sleight-of-hand magic trick can confuse monkeys with opposable thumbs.

Surprisingly, this trick works even though the primates lack the cognitive capacity to understand the deception.

In the study, researchers tested the trick on two capuchin monkeys with different levels of skill in manipulating objects. They were asked to identify which of two boxes had a treat inside. The monkeys were then shown a trick where a researcher transfers a treat from one box to the other, making it seem as if the treat had moved on its own.

The result was that the monkeys were more likely to pick the empty box, thinking the treat was still inside. This suggests that the trick was successful in fooling the monkeys, even though they had no understanding of the deception.

The researchers believe that this trick works because the monkeys are able to recognize the actions and movements of the researcher. This suggests that the monkeys are able to use their visual cues to assess a situation.

Although the monkeys may not have understood the deception, the study highlights the impressive abilities of non-human primates. The animals may not be able to talk or read, but they are still capable of understanding certain actions and making decisions based on visual clues.

The findings of this study could have implications for understanding the cognitive abilities of other animals, such as cats and dogs. It could also provide insight into how primates interact with their environment and make decisions.

Overall, the study shows that even monkeys with opposable thumbs can be fooled by a simple sleight-of-hand magic trick. While the primates may not understand the deception, they are still able to recognize the visual cues of the trick. This suggests that they are capable of making decisions based on their observations.