According to new research, Chimpanzees, like humans, show each other objects just for the sake of getting attention.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses the example of ‘Fiona,’ a wild adult chimp in Uganda’s Kibale National Park.
Fiona can be seen in a video taken during the study of picking a leaf. First, examining it, and then shoving it under her mother Sutherland’s nose for a brief moment before snatching it back.
“She’s not offering it in exchange for food.” “She doesn’t want her mother to do anything,” said Prof Katie Slocombe, a study co-author.
“She just wants them to look at it together and say, ‘Oh, cool, nice!'” Slocombe added.
The previously thought to be unique to humans behaviour has piqued the interest of scientists, who believe that Chimpanzees are much closer to humans than previously thought.
Alternative explanations for the behaviours, such as food sharing and playing or initiating grooming, were ruled out by the scientists. They claimed that if the goal had been to share food, Fiona would have given up the lone leaf. But she did not.
The researchers’ team has only recorded one instance of such behaviour. But they are hopeful that similar examples will be found in future or previously collected footage.
Notably, millions of years ago, humans and chimps shared a common ancestor. Scientists consider Chimps to be the most “humanlike” non-human species. Because they can perform complex tasks, such as tool use, that were previously thought to be exclusive to humans.
A 12-year observational study previously discovered that Chimpanzees develop specific handshake-like gestures