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A similar type of behavioral learning through social interaction happened in a group of Japanese monkeys on the island of Koshima in the 1950s. Researchers were studying the macaques and to lure them into the open to better observe their behavior, the researchers gave them sweet potatoes. Usually, the monkeys would brush excess dirt off the potatoes with their hands before eating them because the grit hurt their teeth. But one day in September 1953, a female the researchers named Imo took the rudimentary potato cleaning a step further by washing hers in a freshwater stream. Five years later, six out of nine members of Imo's family practiced the same potato-washing habit [source: Carpenter]. By 1965, not only had the washing habit been passed to new generations of the macaques, but they also had started rinsing with saltwater instead of freshwater. The monkeys would repeatedly dip their potatoes in the water, then take a bite, implying that they enjoyed the salty flavor. For that reason, researchers suspected that the purpose behind the saltwater habit had evolved from merely cleaning the potatoes to actually seasoning them.