Scientists have discovered that Vervet Monkeys largely ignore what male monkeys do, only paying serious attention to what the lady monkeys are up to. This was shown experimentally by letting some monkeys find out how to access some food, then letting some other monkeys watch them getting at the tasty morsels and finally letting the watchers into where they could get at the food themselves. If the monkeys had been watching a female, then they were significantly more likely to copy her and find the hidden food.
Scientists have explained this behaviour by reference to the social setup of the Vervet Monkey. These little fellows live in matriarchal societies, where the males are marginal and inclined to drift from group to group. Vervets understand that it is best not to pay too much attention to anything a male is doing, as they do not really know much about anything.
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