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Chimpanzee Behavior

Essay by   •  March 6, 2011  •  Essay  •  449 Words (2 Pages)  •  997 Views

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Many scientists believe one of the reasons humans are so successful, is our ability to solve problems. We found ways to keep warm in cold climates. We devised weapons to hunt animals bigger and stronger than ourselves. Do we have an exclusive on innovation?

At the Max Flanck institute in Leipzig, Germany, an experiment monitors how quickly apes and children can solves a particular problem. The challenge is to get peanut out of the tube. The tube is too narrow for the children’s hands, but research tells them they can use anything in the room to help them get the peanut. Research send a four years old child for the challenge. He’s looking directly at the solution, but doesn’t realized it. After 4 minutes, he loses interest. Than researchers send a six year-old boy for the challenge. He was more determined. He takes a physical approach to tackling the problem. But it doesn’t help. Frustration sets in, after several unsuccessful attempts, he gives up. An eight year-old girls also looks puzzled. But after one and a half minutes inspiration strikes and she was able to overcome the challenge. Scientists believe that younger children fall because they can see one way to solve the problem. By the age of eight, most children can expand their thinking. And find a solution. But how do we compare to an adult ape? The researchers bring the apparatus to the leipzing zoo to see if chimpanzee can solve the same problem. An chipanzee and her infant enter the room with the test apparatus. She can get water from the tap, she doesn’t need a jug. She takes a mouthful of water from the fountain, returns and spits it into the tube. She successful the solve the problem. It’s clear that apes have the ingenuity to solve problems. But the way they get the peanut, reveals another astonishing ability. They use the water almost like s it’s a tool. Are apes are inventors?

Tools are an essential part of our everyday life. For years, the classic textbook definition of humans was, “man the tool maker” we were believed to be the only species that used tools. For two and a half million years we have hammered and forged implements from the earth. We manufactured amazingly complex tools, and with them created the modern world. surely our tool making ability makes us unique. But in the 1960’s researchers discovered chimpanzees laying sticks across ant trails



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