Disturbing article over at the Chicago Tribune regarding the hierarchy of Rhesus Monkeys:

For hundreds of thousands of years, female rhesus macaques have successfully ruled highly regimented societies in which the queenly alpha females control families, territories and resources, taking their followers into war as highly disciplined armies.

Armies. Their words, not mine. Worried yet? Read on.

The males? A few rough, tough stud muffins are tolerated in the ranks to help out with security and protection and to be around for the mating season. But any male will soon be physically hurting and on the outside looking in — or dead — if he angers the ladies who run the show.

Sounds like my family reunions, but I digress…

Rhesus monkeys may not be the smartest primates, but they are arguably the most successful primate species after humans, inhabiting more of the Earth than any other monkeys or apes. Their success, says Dario Maestripieri, may be because they are political animals, ruthless and opportunistic in ways endorsed for human politicians by 16th Century Italian philosopher/statesman Nicolo Machiavelli.

People who like to think human society might be kinder and gentler if it were dominated by women won’t find much support in female-dominated rhesus macaque society, which specializes in what Maestripieri calls “Machiavellian intelligence.”

Doesn’t anyone remember how vicious the Amazons were?? I’m vaguely recalling something about “doomed to repeat” something. Oh well.

Dario was nice enough to give us this warning:

Every individual rhesus macaque, “male and female, is the equivalent of being armed and dangerous, ready to attack anyone at any time,” Maestripieri said.

Holy crap! It’s like the Bourne Identity, only it plausible!

“They fight endlessly, even when there is no need to fight. It is Machiavellian. They’re not fighting for things, like food; they’re fighting for power. It is all about nepotism and struggling to get you and your closest relatives in the most powerful position possible in society.”

Isn’t this how we elect our presidents?

“The females are very promiscuous,” said Maestripieri. “Taking on lovers behind bushes out of sight from the king, they usually try to have at least one fling with every adult male in the group, not to mention passing strangers.”

This is the same way Paris Hilton became famous. That and her crotch gets photographed more than her face.

“Rhesus females are organized like the army, which means rank and status of each individual means everything.”

Welcome to High School Musical: Monkey Style!

These monkeys are organized, motivated and smart. If you can think like a monkey, (and I know some of you out there can) there may be hope for us yet! 

You can buy Dario Maestripieri’s Macachiavellian Intelligence: How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World online at Amazon.com.