Five years in the middle of the Panama canal chasing monkeys!
I'm back down on Barro Colorado Island as a post-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, continuing the research I started for my doctorate on how, and when, and where and why monkey groups fight with one another. If you missed the first installment of this blog and are interested, check out Panamania: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/crofoot/
My time here started auspiciously, with spider monkeys raiding the labs.
The airconditioning wasn't working last weekend making it remarkably hot and unpleasant in all the offices. Most of the researchers living here had their balcony doors open in a vain attempt to get some air flowing through their labs. The spider monkeys, who have develloped the habit of hanging around the balcony searching for food and cigarette butts, seized this opportunity and rushed through a couple of the open doors and grabbed stuff that was out on the desks! One stole a bag of seeds for Kristen's experiments and, for the first time in my life, my area of academic expertise had a practical application. How do you get a monkey to give back something it stole? Offer it something it wants more!