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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

do monkeys swim .... monkey bathing !!

Aquatic locomotion is biologically propelled motion through a liquid medium. Swimming has evolved a number of times in a range of organisms including arthropods, fish and molluscs.

We have all read this parable in our school days…. The story of ‘a crocodile and a monkey’ …………….. 0n the banks of river Ganga, there lived a clever monkey…….there also lived couple of croc families….. the male crocodile which used to remain idle on the sandy banks befriended the monkey… and they discussed various things on earth. There were so many fruit-laden trees – monkeys were happy eating juicy fruits of various trees and living merrily.

The wife of the croc felt that the monkey which is feeding on good fruits should taste sweet and started pestering the male to bring home its friend monkey – so that they could feast on the monkey. The male croc was averse to the idea of cheating its friend but (as happens everywhere else) had to budge to the wishes of its spouse.

They hatched a plan… crocodile explained to the monkey of the various juicy fruit bearing trees on the other bank and how they could taste most sweet…. Monkey in its native wisdom remarked that the river was far too vast for monkeys to cross. Croc offered to take it on its back to the other side of the river.  Monkey also agreed. Midway, Croc tried to immerse and told the monkey of the subversive plan…..  sensing its end – monkey pondered and told the croc that its heart which is the sweetest part is not with it and is on the trees and promised to be back with its heart  …………… the foolish croc took it back to the shore ~ monkey hopped out, climbed the trees – not to return for ever……….. greedy and foolish crocodile !

Without going into details of the story and its moral, it made me think all the time that monkeys would drown in water.  The other day in hot summer at Sholinghur ~the divyadesam nearer Arakonam – in the evening it rained heavily for a couple of hours and there was more than knee deep water inside the temples. As people who climbed the hills for darshan of Lord Yoga Narasimha know there are hundreds of monkeys, which literally pluck everything from unwary pilgrims. Inside the temple, a group of monkeys were happily playing, jumping into water enough to drown them – swim, come out, chase and jump again ! – interesting to look at without getting closer !!

Most land mammals instinctively doggy paddle in the water by paddling their paws; many monkeys can swim naturally though it is believed that great apes, chimpanzees are poor swimmers.  Monkeys usually flounder around in a flurry of limbs when they find themselves out of their depth and some have even drowned in zoos that use moats to keep them enclosed.

Here is another – photos of Japanese macaques as they splashed around the famous hot springs at Jigokudani Monkey Park in Yamanouchi, central Japan. Jigokudani, meaning Hell's Valley, is known for its hot pools, often frequented by the large population of wild Japanese macaques.

Macaques in water were snapped by professional photographer Joseph Goh, 39, from Singapore, during a recent visit. MailOnline reports that the macaques jumped into the hot spring and dived below the surface of the water to collect the food grains that had dropped to the bottom. Mr Goh said that there were some grains in the water and the macaques dived into the water to pick them up. 'It was difficult to get the pictures since the monkeys were constantly moving fast thus the timing was crucial. Mr Goh had to be careful not to disturb the macaques in their natural environment as they were enjoying diving in and out of the water.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Apr 2015.

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