Bonobo Research

Posted on September 27, 2008  Comments (0)

Chimps ‘are people, too’

In a private facility just outside Des Moine, Iowa , primatologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh is conducting an experiment that has lasted 26 years. She’s been rearing a small group of apes as if they are people, to see what happens.

Her results appear to be spectacular, at least to writer Danny Wallace: “Kanzi asked me for a present. I gave him the free toothbrush kit from my flight over. He brushed his teeth. We bonded.”

Victoria: “This experiment is the first definite evidence that chimpanzees can pass on ideas to each other. That is the basis of culture.”
Danny: “So, are they people then?”
Victoria: “No.”

In Budongo National Park, Uganda. Katie Slocombe from St Andrews University is studying vocalisations with wild chimps…
Katie: “Chimps produce an incredibly wide range of sounds. It appears that they may have a rudimentary language.”
Danny: “So, are they people then?
Katie: “No”

Related: Great Ape TrustBonobo ResearchBonobo‚Äôs Using Language?Savanna Chimpanzees Hunt with ToolsChimps Used Stone “Hammers”Orangutan Attempts to Hunt Fish with Spear

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