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Chimpanzees play ‘chinese whispers’

* Caption - observational learning by chimpanzees. Each chimpanzee in a chain of up to six learned the method they saw used to open a food box and passed it on to the next chimpanzee. Here a chimpanzee demonstrates the 'lift door' approach. Image by Devyn Carter, Yerkes Center. *

Chimpanzees ape their peers

CAPTION: Techniques were passed on throughout communities through observation. CREDIT: Drawing by Amy Whiten.

Apes ‘ape’ more rationally than humans

When we describe someone 'aping' someone else, it implies they are mindlessly copying them. This does apes a disservice, according to a recent study by scientists from the University of St Andrews. In fact, it's the young members of our own species who are more likely to 'ape' their elders without too much thought.