Chimpanzees synchronize their steps just like humans

Posted in 15/05/2023


Behavioral research with chimpanzees is fascinating because, besides the similarities found with human behavior, it makes us think about the specificity of each species.

One example is a recent research study presented in this video. The study “Inter-individual Coordination in Walking Chimpanzees” is a partnership between researchers from the University of St. Andrews (@uniofstandrews) and the Central European University (CEU) (@we_are_ceu), in collaboration with the African Sanctuary Chimfunshi (@chimfunshiwildlifeorphanage), in Zambia.

From field observations and recordings, the researchers concluded that, like humans, chimpanzees tend to synchronize their walking pace when they are walking with a partner.

Among humans, friends demonstrate more pronounced degrees of coordination in walking. The researchers then analyzed this trait in chimpanzees, and concluded that there was no direct relationship of friendship or kinship in this synchrony.

“Our study showed very nicely that at least those basic forms of coordination, this unconscious coordination of acts of falling into the same rhythm is shared between us and our closest living relatives,” concludes researcher Manon Schweinfurth of the University of St. Andrews.

The video presents the methodology and key findings of the study. Video credit: CEU  @we_are_ceu

The full paper can be accessed at