THE CHIMFUNSHI FASHION TREND
8. July 2014
Monkeys have habits and customs and especially great apes can develop cultural behaviour – scientists affirm this again and again.
Edwin van Leeuwen, scientist at the Max-Plank-institute for psycholinguistics in Nimwegen visits Chimfunshi on a regular basis and observes the social behaviour of chimpanzees. Last year he noticed something strange: The female chimp Julie repeatedly put a blade of grass into her ear – and kept it there. When he visited Chimfunshi again in July he could observe something even stranger: the other chimpanzees in Julies group had adopted her quirk: it had become a fashion trend! No different than what we humans do. Chimpanzees in other communities, however, didn’t adopt this trend. This proves that chimpanzees learn from other group members – no matter how absurd this particular behaviour seems – and copy behavioural patterns. More on welt.de/wissenschaft and welt.de/wissen (in German).