Snow Monkeys Love Hot Baths Just Like Humans Do, and Now We Know Why

Apr 4, 2018

By Rachael Rettner

Japanese macaques, or “snow monkeys,” have been spotted taking baths in man-made hot springs during winter for decades. Now, researchers have discovered exactly why the monkeys do this.

The results are not exactly Earth-shattering: The monkeys are cold.

But the researchers also found that indulging in a hot-spring bath may lower the monkeys’ levels of biological stress.

“This indicates that, as in humans, the hot spring has a stress-reducing effect in snow monkeys,” study lead author Rafaela Takeshita, of Kyoto University in Japan, said in a statement. “This unique habit of hot spring bathing by snow monkeys illustrates how behavioral flexibility can help counter cold-climate stress,” Takeshita said.

The study was published Tuesday (April 3) in the journal Primates.

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2 comments on “Snow Monkeys Love Hot Baths Just Like Humans Do, and Now We Know Why

  • More hot baths more free energy, less hunting and gathering needed, better auto-immune response, having the energy to fight infection…

    Downside, getting out, others stealing your spot.

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  • Can’t find the film but on an Attenborough version, he showed that it was not all stress free as the lower ranking ones weren’t allowed in. One clever one started grooming a head females baby and got in that way. A trusted bday sitter. Can this not introduce a weaker less cold resistant previledged group that could face problems if the heat source runs out or due to overcrowding?

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