I watched a show on National Geographic about Japanese Macaques (or aka Snow Monkeys) and was astounded by how intelligent these monkeys are. I wont elaborate a lot about them as there are a bunch of materials about them but here are some quick facts:
– snow monkeys can pass ability and knowledge in the group and also to the next generations
– scientists left sweet potatoes for them to eat at the beach. One monkey got a potato and washed it with river water. She also seasoned the clean potato with sea water to make it saltier. Soon after that all members of the group started doing that and even the next generations. The same monkey learned how to clean wheat out of sand – she threw the mix of wheat and sand in the water, waited for the sand to sink and picked up the wheat that surfaced. Again that behavior was spread among the others in the group.
– snow monkeys learned to withstand cold winters by bathing in hot springs
– snow monkeys are known to make ice balls or bang stones with no purpose whatsoever but to have fun.