Rhinotilepsy (commonly referred to as “picking your nose”) is a common behavior in humans that has not been studied enough. Apparently it’s a not-too-loved subject – almost one taboo. To make it more “human” and accepted, as is usually done, an attempt was made to research animals. Well, if this use is studied and analyzed in the animal world, it is clear that it is very clear: several species of primates have been caught with their paws in their noses and, not satisfied, all or almost all, they swallow what they find after this careful exploration of the nasal cavities. All this suggests that, given its insignificance, it is a behavior that is not only uttered out of boredom or habit, but may even be beneficial. A recent study published in the “Journal of Zoology” documents the primate species in which this behavior has been observed and also presents the first case of this behavior in a primate species or, better, in one of the two suborders belonging to the Primates , the Strepsirrhini, of which the lemurs are a part. The name of the two suborders already suggests that the nose is a major protagonist: in fact, these species are classified according to the shape of their nose: in the case of the suborder to which lemurs belong, we know that it is derived from the Greek streps “curvature”, rhis, rhinoceroses“nose”, i.e. with a curved nose, referring to the main feature that distinguishes them from the Haplorrhini suborder, which instead have a pointed nose (for example, the vervet).

The benefits of picking your nose

In the study, the main object of analysis is a video in which this species of nocturnal lemurs living only on Madagascar (the so-called aye-aye or aiè-aiè or chiromi, Daubentonia madagascariensis Gmelin, 1788) devote themselves to their nasal explorations : the lemurs , taken in these scenes of everyday life, stick out their very long, tapered and very mobile inserts middle finger into the nasal passages and then lick up the collected mucus.

The same finger they use to clean up hollow branches when they are pruning hunt- of larvae. To understand how it is possible how the animal can bring the whole finger into the cavity, the researchers deepened the study of the internal anatomy of the nasal cavity of the aye-aye, and it turns out that it even reaches the pharynx . The study shows that this behavior is present in at least 12 primate species, most of which show some ability to perform this practice. Once it has been established that it is also a habit in animals, the scholars’ goal is to understand if and what the benefits associated with rhinotilepsy.

Comparative studies examining mucophagy in other primate species and vertebrates in general may shed light on its evolution and possibly functional roleto make sure anyone caught picking their nose feels justified, especially animals (who already do it without shame) and humans.

Source: Lega Nerd

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I am Bret Jackson, a professional journalist and author for Gadget Onus, where I specialize in writing about the gaming industry. With over 6 years of experience in my field, I have built up an extensive portfolio that ranges from reviews to interviews with top figures within the industry. My work has been featured on various news sites, providing readers with insightful analysis regarding the current state of gaming culture.


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