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Chimpanzee Show and Tell

New research of chimpanzees in the wild shows that primates’ behavior is even more similar to humans than previously thought. Video footage shows mother and daughter chimpanzees sitting in the forest looking at leaves. The daughter chimpanzee picked up a leaf, put something on it from her mouth, and held it out to show her mother, as if to say, “Look, isn’t this a cool leaf?” It’s similar to that of human infants, who take interest in an object and bring it to a caregiver to look at. This kind of show and tell behavior is not something researchers have seen in animals before, and it demonstrates that chimpanzees are inclined to share experiences with each other. There is still much to learn about the behavior and communication skills of chimpanzees, and this research will give primatologists a jumping off point for further study.

Image via Claudia Wilke / University of York


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