May 27, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Red Vision Produced Red Hair in Monkeys

A story circulating in the news media claims that as soon as monkeys evolved the ability to see red, they evolved red hair to look at.  Isn’t that the gist of a press release from Ohio UniversityScience Daily thought so, and so did Live Science, which said, “A new study shows that apes first evolved color vision to help them forage food, after which nature made red the sexiest color around and spiked apes’ evolutionary tree with red hair and skin.”  Monkey see red, monkey do red.

If there was a 650-nanometer photon around but nobody to see it, would it still be red?  Sometimes we just have to put out the latest evolutionary groaners to let you see otherwise smart people making monkeys of themselves.  Monkey say, better red than deadhead. 

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Categories: Dumb Ideas, Mammals

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