On Butts and Baboons….

Yes, we all seen the pictures. The unmistakable “baboon butt”. Red and swollen, this tooshie bears more fame and recognition then the booty of Kim Kardashian. But far more remarkable than its gruesome appearance is its purpose yes, its purpose. For in fact this distinguishing anatomical feature of the baboon, (also present in mangabeys , mandrills , guenons , patas monkeys , and macaques) is yet another exquisite manifestation of evolution itself. Just like the celebrity opting for the penthouse that keeps them far away from the intrusion of fans and paparazzi predators, these Old World Monkeys prefer the high branches of trees to keep them out of harm’s (and deadly jaws) reach.Imagine sitting on a branch all day long and THEN sleeping on it as well. Quite uncomfortable, one would suppose. But thanks to the magical process that we know as evolution, mother nature has given the monkey butt a solution. Voila!-cue ischial callosities-pads of roughed skin formed over the underlying ischial tuberosity .Nature’s Lazy-Butt . Features include: No slip, comfortable sitting and sleeping upright for long periods of time on rough surfaces. Imagine walking around with a Lazy-Boy pillow permanently stuck to your behind: man’s dream – monkey’s reality.

As well as being a comfy cushion, the ischial callosities serves as an indicator for male primates that a female is fertile and ready to engage in intercourse, therefore increasing the chances of a succesful copulation. Dominant males display larger and brighter ischial callositis, which helps display their status to both enemies and possible mates. 

Author: Anna Artsibasheva 

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