Chimpanzees share experiences with each other, a trait once thought to be only human

Posted in 30/11/2022

Wild chimpanzees look to share experiences with each other, just like humans (CNN)

A chimpanzee doesn’t hesitate to make it clear when it wants attention. The closest cousin of humans, this species of great ape has effective ways of communicating what it needs.

Researchers have often observed captive chimps pointing to an object they want their caregivers to give them or young chimps in the wild having tantrums to get attention from their mother.

Until now, these behaviors have only been observed when a chimpanzee wants something. Recently, however, scientists documented footage of a wild adult chimpanzee showing her mother a leaf, apparently just to share the experience with her, according to a study published Monday in the journal PNAS.

More examples of such interactions are needed to better understand the intention behind the gesture, the study’s researchers said, but the observation could demonstrate chimpanzees possess a social behavior once thought to be specific only to their human relatives.

“Critically, she didn’t seem to want her mom to do anything with the leaf. … She seems to be showing it just for the sake of showing it. It’s like, ‘look, look, this is cool, isn’t it?’ And that is very humanlike and something that we thought was fairly unique to our species,” said study coauthor Katie Slocombe, a professor of psychology at the University of York in the United Kingdom.

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