Friday, 1 March 2013

The Curious Ape

Apparently we are curious because our great ape ancestors were curious creatures. Scientists at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire set up tests, and found that Chimpanzees enjoy trying to solve brainteasers, even when there is no obvious rewards. In other words the challenge and the satisfaction of meeting it were the reward in themselves.

They set up a game for six chimps that involved moving red dice through pipes until they fell into a container, and they played it whether it was dice or using Brazil nuts, and they did not receive advance training on how to play the game.

Clever Chimps Share Our Ancestors

Once they had mastered a simplified version the, researchers created higher "levels" of challenge by connecting many pipes together, and making them opaque so the dice or nuts could only occasionally be glimpsed through small holes drilled in the pipes ..... and just like humans, the chimps were even more stimulated to try and solve the game ..... kinda like a computer game for us.

The Curious Ape - We Inherited The Same Genes

If nothing else, it just proves that our common ancestry with another ape wasn't so long ago as some of like to think.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. It's good to hear the phrase 'common ancestry' as some like to misunderstand the phrase 'we evolved from apes'.
    I like the observation that ALL of our ancestors were winners, ie. Everyone in the long line of mothers and fathers, and their mothers and fathers, all the way back to the mouse-like animals that avoided being stepped on by a dinosaur, lived and survived to reproduce and raise descendants!

    1. ' avoided being stepped on by a dinosaur, lived and survived to reproduce and raise descendants!' .... well aided by a meteor strike. I doubt we would have had space to evolve if the dinosaurs hadn't been nudged permanently out of the way (birds excepted).


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