Why Are Monkeys Jumping On Trees Afraid Of Snakes Crawling On The Ground?

According to anthropologist Lynne Isbell, snakes have had a substantial influence on primate evolution since the legless reptiles are a major reason why monkeys and other primates (including humans) have acquired good eyesight, allowing them to spot a snake when they come across one.

As a result of their keen vision, monkeys and other primates are constantly on the lookout for snakes and are quick to alert when they detect one, whether it’s a gigantic constrictor that may k.i.l.l and consume a primate if given the chance (pythons, anacondas…) or a poisonous kind (cobras, vipers…). In fact, Isbell says that monkeys who live in close proximity to dangerous snakes have evolved greater vision than other species!

However, one question remains unanswered: did the monkeys’ visual system develop to identify a serpent? Is there any biological evidence to support this? According to studies, even those who have never seen a snake may swiftly develop a phobia of snakes, associating them with de.ath by constriction or poison.

However, it is uncertain if their brain reaction indicates that they have ophidiophobia (an abnormal fear of snakes) or merely an intrinsic capacity to distinguish a potentially de.adly reptile.


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