Tetsuro Matsuzawa, a researcher at Kyoto University, showed that a chimpanzee named Ayumu clearly out-performed humans on some working memory tests, a category of short-term recall. What is surprising is that anybody finds this surprising.
People tend to believe that our species is superior to and separate from the animal kingdom, that we are the end point of the evolution of life on earth. That notion is not only false but extraordinarily dangerous.
She was a hero to me, an inspiring woman who represented the possibility of living your dreams while helping the animals that inhabit the world with us. Little did I know that one day, our paths would cross.
Against all odds, the great apes have hung on in remote pockets of the world into the 21st century. Their fate will decided in the remainder of the century, as we grapple with large scale environmental changes that threaten our own lives as well.
As crazy as politics seems to us these days, politics actually has its evolutionary roots in the primate use of "tactical deception," which is just as it sounds: the use of deception to manipulate your fellows into giving you what you want.
The world has been fascinated with Jane Goodall for more than 50 years, whether through her books, detailing profound discoveries linking primates to humans, or through television shows. Take that, Snooki.
Because of the continued debate over the scientific use of chimpanzees, the eminent Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the United States recently assessed the necessity of studying chimpanzees in biomedical research.
There are scads of examples of long-term attachments between animals of different species. The problem is that all these cases have occurred among captive or semi-captive animals in zoos, wildlife parks, or research labs.