Chimpanzees show things to their peers to draw attention to them, with no other purpose. This is evidenced by research conducted by primatologists in a forest in Uganda. It is the first time this human behavior has been observed in monkeys. The search was published in PNAS Scientific Journal.
A video clip shows a young chimpanzee showing her mother a leaf from a tree. If she doesn’t look right away, she pushes the paper (possibly with lice on it) under her mother’s nose to draw her attention to her. As if to say, “Look!”
When she is sure her mother was watching, she continues to sniff the paper. The researchers filmed 84 similar cases.
Behavioral biologist: “People often think their behavior is unique, but animals often act the same way.”
It’s the first time researchers have seen this social behavior in monkeys. Until now, they were only known to point specifically at objects to get something done, for example, from their caretakers. Then the signal or display has a tangible purpose. Sometimes monkeys follow another monkey’s gaze to see what he’s looking at.
The footage was filmed in Kibale National Park in western Uganda, where several groups of chimpanzees live. The forest is home to the largest number of primates in the world.
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