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Chimpanzees have cleaner beds than humans, say scientists: Now, which is the ‘dirty animal’?

The great apes build complex tree nests out of branches and leaves each day which contain fewer body bacteria than beds in most human households. By contrast, human beds are teeming with faecal, oral or skin bacteria,

HENRY BODKIN: ‘Chimpanzee beds are cleaner than those of humans because, unlike us, the animals change their “sheets” every night, a new study has found. The great apes build complex tree nests out of branches and leaves each day which contain fewer body bacteria than beds in most human households. By contrast, human beds are teeming with faecal, oral or skin bacteria, according to the new investigation by North Carolina State University. Compared with human beds, the chimp nests had a much greater variety of bugs…

Megan Thoemmes, who led the research in Tanzania, said… “For example, about 35 per cent of bacteria in human beds stem from our own bodies, including faecal, oral and skin bacteria. “We wanted to know how this compares with some of our closest evolutionary relatives, the chimpanzees, which make their own beds daily.” “We found almost none of those microbes in the chimpanzee nests, which was a little surprising”…

The beds made by great apes, be they chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos or orangutans, are typically used for a single night and then abandoned. One explanation for such movement is that the practice decreases the ability of pathogens and pests to build up at a sleeping site and reduces the microbial odours associated with the individual that might attract predators’. SOURCE…

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