Saturday, April 20, 2024

Chimpanzee mother noticed her son’s wounds treated with insects

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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chimpanzee; for us Closest cousins Since they share with us about 98% of Genoa. literally from “False men”. But the fact remains that when Jane Goodall I caught them for the first time with tools – let’s not get too excited though, these were twigs they were using to drive out termites – it’s a whole world of belief that fell apart. Science in the early 1960s still believed, in fact, that only humans were capable of such intellectual prowess.

Since then, many animals have been recognized as being able to use or even make tools. Lots of great apes, elephant, crow or even octopus. Thus, it is not for this competence, which remains singular in spite of everything, that we are today interested in chimpanzees. no. What brings it back to center stage this time around is an even more surprising behavior first observed in November 2019.

The story takes place in the Loango National Park (Gabon). While a team of researchers has been observing for several years the behavior of a group of wild chimpanzee. And for Alessandra, a “simple” volunteer, Susie, a female from the group, will finally have the honor of revealing herself. After examining a wound to the foot of Sia, her teenage son, she appears to be thinking a little. Then, she picks up an insect in full flight—Alessandra will take the video backing filmed at the time to watch it—and puts it in the mouth and spit it out to put it on the wound.

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Extremely rare prosocial behavior

Of course, this isn’t the first time an animal has been caught practicing therapy on its own. Humans have been doing this for at least 1,400 years before our era. Do bears. Elephants, starlings, and even bees too. But, in general, by ingestion of plants or other substances intended to calm Intestinal disorder. Chimpanzees – like bonobos – have been known, for example, to chew or swallow leaves with antiparasitic properties.

But the wrong application – potentially has properties anti-inflammatoriesAnd the disinfectants Or a sedative can relieve pain – On the wound .. What is more, on a wound other than itself, it is not common in the animal world. Clearly positive social behavior, researchers say. Understand, behavior that is in the interest of others rather than oneself. Extremely rare behavior in non-human animals.

Within fifteen months of the most accurate observations, the researchers were finally able to document this behavior again on about 76 occasions. In females as well as in males. In relation to related or unrelated chimpanzees. Evidence that it is by no means an isolated phenomenon.

What are these insects that chimpanzees apply to their wounds? What benefits do they get from it? How is this behavior transmitted from one individual to another? From one generation to the next? These are all questions that researchers will now seek to find answers to. But one thing seems for sure: our closest relatives are certainly not that stupid!

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