Chimp shares object – showing behaviour thought to be unique to humans | World News

A wild chimp has been observed showing its mother an object solely for the sake of sharing, a type of social behavior previously thought to be unique to humans.

The researchers captured the animal encouraging its mother to look at a leaf with it.

Scientists say this finding suggests that under certain social conditions, wild chimpanzees can share experiences with each other, using gestures to comment or comment on the world.

Lead author of the study, Dr Claudia Wilke from the Department of Psychology at York University, said: “People love to share experiences with each other – social networks capitalize on this trait and even within the first year of life. of life, we begin to show other interesting things that we have found.

“It has been suggested that ‘sharing for good’ is a uniquely human trait, but our observations of these wild chimpanzees challenge this.

“We observed an adult chimpanzee showing his mother the leaf it was grooming, not because it wanted her to do anything with the leaf, but most likely because it simply wanted her to do the same. look at the leaf.”

People begin to use reference gestures to represent or indicate objects or events of interest to others during the first year of life.

To date, however, primates have never been seen to engage in this behavior.

Co-author Simon Townsend, from the universities of Warwick and Zurich, added: “Our observations suggest that under specific social circumstances chimpanzees can show each other objects of interest, share attention on them, and this behavior may not be unique to humans.”

Observe more than 80 times

The interaction was captured on video with an adult female chimpanzee, Fiona, giving a leaf to her mother, Sutherland, in Kibale Forest, Uganda.

More than 80 similar foliar grooming events were analyzed to rule out other explanations for the behavior, including food sharing and initiation of grooming or play.

The researchers say the finding could have implications for our understanding of the evolution of human social cognition and what makes the human mind unique.

Co-author Professor Slocombe from the University of York, said: “Although more examples of this behavior need to be identified in chimpanzees, our observations suggest that attention sharing because The purpose of sharing is not limited to people.

“It has been argued that our ability to share experiences has helped us develop cognitive abilities that set us apart from other species, such as the ability to act collectively, to cooperate, and to speak language.” .

“Our observations raise new questions about why humans share experiences more often than our closest relatives and whether engaging in this behavior with such frequency higher than other species can still explain the evolution of cognitive functions that underlie human social behavior.”

The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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