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July 31, 2009 -- Wild spider monkeys now have a new tool under their proverbial belt: a body scratcher that may release medicinal compounds, according to a study published in the latest issue of the journal Primates.
The study is the first to report this spider monkey scratcher. Lead author Stacy Lindshield told Discovery News that two other instances of the use of objects as tools by the social monkeys have been documented.
"Spider monkeys have been observed rubbing crushed and chewed leaves on their bodies," said Lindshield, a researcher in Iowa State University's Ecology and Evolut