Chimps’ Beds Cleaner than Humans’ Beds: New Study

A surprising finding from a recent study:  The beds of Chimpanzees are cleaner than humans’ beds.  Wow.  If you are ever lucky enough to be invited by some chimps for a sleep-over, don’t hesitate!


 

 

Think chimpanzee beds are dirtier than human ones? Think again

 

“…about 35 percent of bacteria in human beds stem from our own bodies, including fecal, 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.”

-Megan Thoemmes, lead author and Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University

To that end, researchers in Tanzania collected swabs of 41 chimpanzee beds, or nests. The swabs were used to test for microbial biodiversity. At 15 of the nests, researchers also used vacuums to sample the diversity of arthropods, such as insects and arachnids…

Notably…chimpanzee beds were much less likely to harbor fecal, oral or skin bacteria.

“We found almost none of those microbes in the chimpanzee nests, which was a little surprising.  We also expected to see a significant number of arthropod parasites, but we didn’t.”

As for humans:

“In some ways, our attempts to create a clean environment for ourselves may actually make our surroundings less ideal.”

 


 

Journal Reference: Megan S. Thoemmes, Fiona A. Stewart, R. Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar, Matthew A. Bertone, David A.  Baltzegar, Russell J. Borski, Naomi Cohen, Kaitlin P. Coyle, Alexander K. Piel, Robert R. Dunn. Ecology of sleeping: the microbial and arthropod associates of chimpanzee beds. Royal Society Open Science, 2018; 5 (5): 180382 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180382

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