top of page

Snack #18: Do The Monkey Dance

Today I read about a study made about Hainan Gibbons, a rare species of monkeys, and their dance habits. Dance, in that case, was considered synchronized rhythmic movement, and they were trying to see what was making them dance, and what can be deduced from it about human dance.


Important to note: Males don't dance, and gibbons "exhibit a polygynous mating system", with usually 2 females and 1 male.


They watched females and their dance habits around males, trying to see if they were dancing:

1. For social points

2. For sexual purposes

3. Competition with other females over attention


They noticed a few interesting things:

1. Females who were "less preferred" in the group, were more likely to copulate with males after dancing, than when not dancing. This also meant that in general, they danced more than "preferred females".

2. Those same females were sometimes engaging in dance as the "more preferred" females were dancing, basically going on dance battles for attention.

3. The males weren't dancing, ~40% of the time responded positively, and the rest of the time they were neutral or just left the area.


Dance with humans is more complicated, but only because there's the cultural aspect to it. I think that we have similar motivations to the monkeys a lot of the time, but we've also learned to dance for the joy of expression, and not just as a function of mating or participating in society - an evolution which I'm grateful for.


Dance with humans is more complicated, but only because there's the cultural aspect to it. I think that we have similar motivations to the monkeys a lot of the time, but we've also learned to dance for the joy of expression, and not just as a function of mating or participating in society - an evolution which I'm grateful for.


Article in the first comment, there's also a video there if you scroll down to "supplementary video 1"


In this video, I dance like the gibbons (kind of)



3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Subscribe for more Snacks!

bottom of page