Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:31, 3:31 and 5:49 a.m.


Caribbean monkey's got talent.

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Meet Pinocchio--a big-nosed rhesus monkey in Puerto Rico with a special skill. Of the thousand island monkeys, only he can crack a coconut.

Harvard's Jordan Comins discovered Pinocchio's unique ability.

His method: Pick up a coconut and bite off the husk. Then bowl the nut to a nearby cement dock. Squat over it, grip with both hands, granny toss it into the air, and watch it crash against the dock.

Repeat until you've got, well, Rhesus pieces.

Seems basic, but neither the bowling nor the toss have been seen in monkeys. Pinocchio invented the process.

The fruit of Pinocchio's labor is abundant and nutritious--but none of his fellow islanders have taken advantage. Looks like innovation in its infancy.

Will others catch on or will the novel act die with its inventor? The answers could help clarify why some but not other innovative behaviors spread in a culture.

And why sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Ah, I still like Rhesus pieces. That was good, no?

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