Chimpanzee

The Thoughtful Animal

Category archives for Chimpanzee

Human infants have one important job during the first years of life, and that is to learn about the world and their culture from their parents and other caregivers. But what is learning? I’ve previously written that Hungarian developmental psychologists Gergely and Csibra have defined learning as the acquisition of new, generalizable knowledge that can…

What is learning? Most psychologists (indeed, most people in general) would agree that learning is the acquisition of new knowledge, or new behaviors, or new skills. Hungarian psychologists Gergely and Csibra offer a deceptively simple description: “Learning involves acquiring new information and using it later when necessary.” What this means is that learning requires the…

You know that old phrase, “monkey see, monkey do”? Well, there might be something to it, except that chimpanzees aren’t monkeys. (Sadly, “ape see, ape do” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.) A new paper published today in PLoS ONE has found evidence that chimpanzees have contagious yawning – that is, they can…

I was reading Christie’s excellent post (and you should too) on GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons’ elephant killing incident (is it too early to be calling this #ElephantGate?) Although I don’t know quite enough about what is going on in Zimbabwe, I tend to err on the side of not intentionally killing elephants because – as…

A new piece by me today at the Scientific American Guest Blog, on some exciting news from the Jane Goodall Institute and Duke University: Fifty years ago, in the summer of 1960 – the same year that a US satellite snapped the first photo of the Earth from space, the same year that the CERN…

Eric M. Johnson and I spent about 45 minutes discussing “evolutionary psychology beyond sex” last night, which you can see today on Bloggingheads “Science Saturday.” Or just watch it here:

“Two chimps had been shut out of their shelter by mistake during a cold rain storm. They were standing dejeted, water streaming down their shivering bodies, when Professor K√∂hler chanced to pass.” Upon opening the door for the two chimps, Dr. James Leuba recounts, “instead of scampering in without more ado, as many a child…

Learn to Speak Primate

Non-human primate, that is. Ape actor Peter Elliott shares his knowledge of chimpanzee and gorilla vocabulary and facial expressions. via IMDb: Peter Elliott is the film industry’s primary primate. He both as a performer, in films like Missing Link and The Island of Doctor Moreau, and as a choreographer of other performers, as in Gorillas…

The Fate of the Alamogordo Chimps

The National Institutes of Health announced that by 2011 it will transfer almost two hundred chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico to a lab in San Antonio, Texas, lab for use in invasive research. In 1995, the NIH announced a moratorium on the breeding of chimps in federally-supported labs, and as a…

Chimpanzee Curiosity (Video)

The awesome videos just keep on coming. Check out this one from National Geographic. A juvenile chimp and her mother set out to do some fishing for termites in Congo’s Goualougo Triangle, but the juvenile spots something interesting – an apparently not-so-well hidden camera – and investigates. I think it’s so fascinating to see how…