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Monkey between Sheep

  1. Apr 15, 2015 #1
    Hi all,

    If we take a newly born monkey then put it between sheep in a grass/forest hapitat, will it act as a monkey or sheep (it bananas/leaves from trees or eat grass) ? and then :

    1) If we take it and leave it alone in a forest, will it continue as a sheep or monkey ?
    2) If we take it and place it between monkeys, will it act as a monkey or sheep ?

    This question is very important to me

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2015 #2


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    Newborn primates don't eat bananas and leaves. They must be fed milk by a caregiver until old enough to feed themselves.
    This throws a very large wrench into your thought experiment, as the question becomes: who will provide the necessities of life that such a newborn primate will need?

    True, the newborn will be able to cling to the fur of a sheep and may be able to suckle at the teats, assuming the ewe is lactating. Assuming it lived, it would probably take to mimicking its caregiver as it got more independent, meaning it would eat grass and leaves.
  4. Apr 15, 2015 #3


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    Can you expand on why this is very important to you?
  5. Apr 15, 2015 #4


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    Could a monkey live on grass and leaves? Humans can't. Sheep are also ruminants.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  6. Apr 15, 2015 #5
    To DaveC426913 :

    You are right, i should elaborated on the early staged, as i assumed inter-species breastfeeding was the case, or one can provide a Milk-Providing several Tap/Hose from the ground which is tied to underground pipeline to a very far facility and its monitored from far away (ex Space), and its stopped after some time to force the monkey to look to other sources of food.
    I was hoping we could pass the initial infant stage to the stage of self-dependence.

    To Berkeman :

    Lets say the monkey is "Gray Languar"
    It casts some light on the consciousness of the monkey i.e "If a monkey is aware its a monkey", for example if a monkey raised by sheep eating grass and there is a nearby forest full with banana trees, will it every be intimidated by the banana look and shape ? and lets says its built in its DNA that its naturally attracted to banana, will it ever try to climb the tree, knowing that its a sheep incapable of such a feet or it will not think its a sheep and climb the tree or its curiosity and anguish, will force it to try.

    All the 3 questions i asked, have the same context, of the behavioral change of the Monkey with the society change.

    Note: I have a very little information on zoology, maybe a professional zoologist can rephrase the question with an exact description of the animal species.
  7. Apr 16, 2015 #6
    Here's the story of a cat that adopted some newly hatched ducks:

    If you go to youtube to watch it, you'll find a lot of similar stories of cross-species adoptions. In the case of the cat and ducks, the ducks grew up to do perfectly duck-like things, despite the cat trying to treat them like kittens.

    Anyway, do the ducks now think they're cats? If we ask that, then it's logical to ask if ducks raised by ducks ever ponder whether they're ducks? In other words, do ducks ask themselves such questions, or do they just instinctively return to the company of other entities with which they've always felt comfortable? Thinking back on my own infancy, I don't recall ever asking myself if I were human. The notion I was human was presented to me before I was ever mentally and emotionally sophisticated enough to arrive at the question on my own.
  8. Apr 16, 2015 #7


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    Agreed. It was not my intention to suggest this was sustainable, simply that this is how the monkey would behave.

    The OP seemed more interested in the 'nature versus nurture' question - would the monkey think it's a sheep or would it instinctively seek out bananas. Higher-order mammals tend to learn more by imitation than by instinct, as compared to lower-order animals.
  9. Apr 16, 2015 #8


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    Well now, that raises a different question. Would an infant monkey go to a tap for sustenance? There was a study done where two infants were tested - one given a caring, loving mother to cling to, the other given just a rack with a spigot for milk. It would be worth a perusal.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
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