Watch These Timid Chimps Look Both Ways Before Crossing The Road
Look both ways before you cross the street! That life-saving precaution was drilled into us as children — and apparently chimpanzees have picked it up too.
The video above shows four chimps navigating a highway in Uganda. Watch as a timid youngster swivels his head from left to right and then left again, all while the group’s alpha male waits patiently for him to catch up.
The first-of-its-kind video was made as part of a survey conducted between 2012 and 2014 in the Sebitoli area of Uganda’s Kibale National Park. To assess how chimps adapt to new roads, researchers observed 122 chimps cross the highway, where cars routinely pass at speeds of up to 60 mph.
The researchers noticed that the animals looked left and right 90 percent of the time while making their way.
“We’ve described chimpanzee behavior facing a dangerous situation never described before,” Marie Cibot, a doctoral student in primatology at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and the study’s lead researcher, told New Scientist.
The new study adds to a growing body of research that shows our closest living relatives aren’t nearly as different from us as we once imagined. Studies have shown that chimps throw temper tantrums, have distinct cultures, and even do puzzles for fun. And their short-term memory may be even better than ours.
The study was published online April 10 in the American Journal of Primatology.
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