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Lion-tailed macaques compete with Malabar squirrels for ripe jackfruit

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“Here in southern India, monsoon rains bring on jackfruit season. These enormous, 22-pound hulks are the largest tree fruit in the world… a feast. But until they’re ripe, they remain completely inedible.

“The macaques, unfortunately, find it hard to tell which ones are ready to eat. Luckily, help is at hand. These giant Malabar squirrels have a keen sense of smell, which leads them to the ripest fruits. The macaques watch the squirrels’ every move. Then they try to muscle in.”

Watch how lion-tailed macaques follow their multi-colored tree squirrel neighbors to identify which of the sweet jackfruit are ready to eat. Then see how they push at the perplexed rodents until the meal is won. This Nature on PBS video documents the competition.

slapping away the malabar squirrels
trying to eat jackfruit
Related reading on Real Simple: What is jackfruit?

Watch these related videos about macaques, squirrels, and competition on TKSST:
• India’s Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica)
• Long-tail macaques use stone tools to open shells
• Dung Beetle Battle
• Hummingbird Battleground in the Talamanca Mountains
• Great horned owl vs. raccoon in an owl nest

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