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Monkeys’ Grooming Habits Provide New Clues To How We Socialize

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A study of female monkeys’ grooming habits provides new clues about the way we humans socialise. New research, published September 30 in Proceedings of the Royal Society, reveals there is a link between the size of the brain, in particular the neocortex which is responsible for higher-level thinking, and the size and number of grooming clusters that monkeys belong to.

The researchers, from the University of Oxford and Roehampton University, have shown that bigger brained female monkeys invest more time grooming a smaller group of monkeys but still manage to maintain contact with other members of their group, even though they have much weaker social bonds with them. In contrast, monkeys of species with smaller neocortices, and therefore less cognitive ability, live in groups with a less complicated social structure.
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Woman Hits $20,000 Vegas Jackpot In Grooming Contest

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Forget the slot machines! Tammy Colbert hit the jackpot by perfectly grooming a miniature schnauzer named Cece. The California resident bested 35 other expert groomers in the two-hour competition at the pet goods trade show SuperZoo, taking home $20,000 — the world’s largest prize in the history of dog grooming contests.

Colbert, who runs Wildwynd, a mobile grooming business in Huntington Beach, Calif., told Paw Nation, “They kept reading off the names and when they got down to fifth, [I] started crying. And then I won and it was just surreal that it even happened.”

The prize money, furnished by the World Wide Pet Industry Association, is a long way from Colbert’s first grooming competitions back in the mid-1980s. Back then, she said, winners received prizes like a gallon of shampoo and a plaque.

“People could hardly believe it that there was going to be this much money,” event coordinator Janice Fehn told Paw Nation. “This is the biggest money ever, ever, ever offered.”

Colbert’s victory was especially sweet because the previous day, she had walked out of a poodle grooming competition (she was having vision problems and felt dissatisfied with her results). Come Thursday, she wasn’t even sure if she was going to finish Cece, whom she borrowed from a client, within the two-hour allotment. “I was scrambling there at the end, I still had 15 minutes to finish a head,” she said.

Colbert, whose business in California is so robust she’s booked through October, felt overwhelmed by the honor. She grew up without dogs and got into grooming when a groomer friend gave her some scissors and a brush one day and told her to give it a try on a Cocker Spaniel. She was a natural.

“You have to have a passion for it. You can’t say ‘I’m a groomer and it’s just a job,'” said Colbert. “There’s an artistic thing to it, too. I enjoy after I’m done and the dog is clean and pretty. The client’s happy and they don’t want anyone else to touch it because it has to look a certain way.”

(source)