Long-term unemployment might be at an all-time high, but there's at least one sector of the workforce seeing job growth: Monkey Annoyance Experts. That's the phrase that appears above a recent report by LiveScience's Adam Hadhazy anyway. The Christian Science Monitor headlines his article for the newspaper's science section, "Monkeys hate flying squirrels, report monkey-annoyance experts." What exactly is the news here? Hadhazy reports:
Researchers have observed small monkeys called Japanese macaques going bananas at the sight of a flying squirrel.
This riled-up response is probably just a false alarm, with the monkeys mistaking the squirrel for a predatory bird. On the other hand, male macaques – some of whom give chase and even attack a harmless rodent – might be trying to impress females in their troop.
Although this tough-guy motive was not proved in a new study, "it is possible that adult or sub-adult male monkeys may be 'showing off' their fitness" as potential mates, said Kenji Onishi, an assistant professor of behavioral sciences at Osaka University and lead author of the paper being published in the current issue of the journal Primate Research.
Onishi and his fellow researchers may or may not choose to self-describe as "monkey-annoyance experts," but that is what the Christian Science Monitor has dubbed them. Given that scientists are already often wary of journalists, Hadhazy and his editor may have just earned themselves the title of scientist-annoyance experts. Whatever the case, Media Matters' Seth Michaels has posed the question on all of our minds:
How does one get a job as a "monkey-annoyance expert?" http://bit.ly/aVoava
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.