Was this how dogs became best friends of our ancestors?
In the Ethiopian plains, wolves and frozen baboons live in peace. While monkeys tolerate wolves walking in the midst of their flock, wolves completely ignore primate cubs that would normally be considered a great meal.
Wolves feed on rodents - which are most easily captured when the ice cream is nearby. Mutual benefits that closely resemble what we imagine to be the earliest stages of human dog taming.
This unusual 'alliance' between animals was noted by Dartmouth primatologist Vivek Venkataraman. "You can watch a wolf and a cold one meter away from each other living peacefully for periods of up to two hours straight," the scientist told New Scientist.
When moving by flocks of monkeys (usually 600 or even 700 individuals), wolves are careful to behave non-threateningly, moving quietly while hunting rodents. And this hunting technique is quite different from that observed when wolves are in another environment. This suggests that this association with monkeys is deliberate.
Venkataraman and some colleagues watched the wolves for 17 days, recording attempts to hunt rodents and realized that while they had a 67% success rate when they were near the freezes, they could catch mice and other prey only 25% of the time alone. .
It is still unclear to researchers what benefit monkeys bring - monkeys are thought to help get rodents out of their dens as they roam the plains. Another possibility is that, since the ice cream is the same color and size as the wolves, canids can camouflage themselves among a species considered less threatening by rodents.