Monkeys domesticate wolves: Investigating baboons and gelada monkey in Ethiopia (VIDEO).

Are Monkeys Really Domesticating Wolves in Ethiopia? Sure Looks Like It.

Are Monkeys Really Domesticating Wolves in Ethiopia? Sure Looks Like It.

The state of the universe.
June 30 2015 7:13 AM

Baboon’s Best Friend

Are Ethiopia’s gelada monkeys really domesticating local wolves?

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Photo by Jeff Kerby.

During field research in Ethiopia’s Guassa plateau, Dartmouth primatologist Vivek Venkataraman encountered a remarkable scene: wolves and monkeys casually commingling. Why weren’t these Ethiopian wolves making little monkey meals out of the baby baboons? In fact, they seemed to do everything they could to avoid raising a ruckus, spending hours roaming through the large gelada herds foraging for rodents.

The video above explores the curious behavior—and why it’s likely not to escalate to the relationship canines enjoy with humans.

Paca Thomas is a regular video contributor to Slate.