Monkeys have exhibited an artistic streak in captivity at a Maryland research facility, the New Scientist magazine reported. Ten capuchin monkeys were given clay spheres, stones, paint and leaves as raw materials, and then spent up to 30 minutes reshaping the clay with their hadns and decorating it with paint and leaves.

"They take great care. They were very focused when they were making them," said Gregory Westergaard from the National Institutes of Health Animal Center.

Captivity may have awakened the animals' creativity since they did not have to spend time looking for food, or evading predators.

"Art doesn't happen unless you are smart, and I think such expressions are the inevitable consdquence of an intelligent but restless mind," said Westergaard.

-from the SF Chronicle, date unknown.

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