Monday, June 05, 2006
Apes plan ahead for the future! - yet another 'unique human trait' bites the dust.
Chimpanzees in a primate center in Leipzig, Germany, learned to use an object as a tool to obtain grapes from an apparatus in a test room Mulchay et al. then presented the chimps with a number of objects what would make either suitable or unsuitable tools for extracting the grapes and let the chimps take the tool first to a waiting room, and then back to the waiting room to get the reward, either an hour later or the next morning. Most chimps selected and then returned with a suitable tool. This indicates that at least a precursor skill for planning for the future evolved in the great apes before 14 million years ago, when all extant great ape species shared a common ancestor.