The Bonobos Ape (Nature Documentary)

The Bonobos Ape (Nature Documentary)

something strange is happening in the forests of Africa chimpanzees are doing things no one has seen them do before they were in a partying mood but that's not all at a site called fungo we in Senegal they've also invented a remarkable way of catching a meal they're making Spears and hunting just like our ancestors are these Apes developing human-like skills in their own environment after all the great apes chimpanzees orangutangs gorillas and bonobos seem so much like us it's hard not to feel a deep connection we have come to see that we're much more similar to them than we ever imagined but for every revelation about the power of their minds another shows up a stunning difference if you think that human genetics and epigenetics or 99% the same what we've managed to achieve and our current position on earth is so strikingly different from that of apes we're trying to figure out what is it that makes us human what's the little difference that makes the big difference how big is the gap between them and us what's holding them back in a remote part of Africa there is something new Under the Sun our closest living relatives are getting both chimps are supposed to be afraid of water but this young male is climbing down for a dip he keeps a hand on the natural safety line as he overcomes his fear as a boy or girl ever had so much fun in a swimming hole while chimps have never been seen before playing like this at faun goalie in Senegal anthropologist Jill priests and psychologist Andrew whiten are getting an extraordinary glimpse of chimp emotions the personality of chimpanzee is extremely excitable I've hardly ever seen a facial expression like that I mean that was extreme excitement to the stage of kind of losing control it's not merely just to cool off the juveniles have fun I mean they play in the water they play a lot in the water this is only one of a rush of discoveries that is painting a surprising picture of eight minds they are more like us than most researchers ever imagined one by one the skills and emotions we once thought were uniquely human are being found in Apes still specific mental gaps the little differences that make the big difference will ultimately explain why we study them or not the other way around while the swimming hole is revealing chimps emotions in the field a new laboratory study is showing off their amazing rational powers at the Max Planck Institute for evolutionary anthropology in Leipzig Germany psychologist Josef cold places a peanut inside a clear tube how can the chimpanzee get the snack she's never seen this puzzle before for ten minutes there is no solution inside and all of a sudden boom they solve it they have to understand that they can use the water as a tool this is interesting because the water itself it doesn't have any shape using water as a tool seems like something we would do on a good day another tool is being put to remarkable use by wild chimps in their quest for a meal back in Senegal Jill preached has been keeping a close eye on the chimps eating habits throughout Africa chimps eat almost anything and they have a particular taste for meat here their favorite prey is the bush baby a small nocturnal primate but these chimps aren't catching bush babies barehanded treats has seen chimps making Spears and using them to hunt Andrew whiten hopes to join the ranks of the few who have witnessed this extraordinary behavior to make a spear a chimp starts by breaking off a branch then sharpening the tip all in the quest to catch a bush baby in its day time sleeping hollow so the next step would be that the chimp would approach the cavity and sometimes look in take the tool yeah hoarsely into the cavity multiple times it may not be ice pick sharp but when driven by an arm up to five times as strong as a human's it's a potentially lethal weapon they always either sniff it or lick it when they withdraw the tool what they may do is actually break open the entire cavity and if they're lucky find a bush baby inside break strip sharpen stab these chimps take a series of distinct steps in a carefully premeditated hunt treats and whiten are closing in on the answers most of the 20 spare hunts observed by priests have taken place during the rainy season over time she's seen every stage of the kill a chimp is inspecting a hollow looking for a bush baby she breaks off a branch and makes a sphere the first time I saw I can't make a tool I think I said something like where is she going and what is she gonna do with that duel she nibbles the tip to sharpen it then with the aid of her foot she aims the point into a hollow prease has made a landmark discovery never before has any non-human species been known to routinely make and use deadly weapons so what does spear hunting reveal about how chimpanzees think prease and her team have seen about half of the chimps here brandishing weapons which means spear hunting has spread through much of the group that seems natural to us but generating ideas and sharing technologies is one scientific definition of culture for whiten culture includes the human arts from beer to Beethoven but it also covers the rudimentary traditions of ape societies whiten is trying to discover what kind of mind can lead an ape to culture young watch their parents sometimes very intently and over the following months and years they have they acquired that behavior so you have to be able to copy to prove that one ape can copy another a student of Andrew whitens devised an experiment at the university of texas antoine Spiteri has built a kind of slot machine for apes he loads it with a grape to get the fruit a chimp must first turn a disk to allow the greater drop through a hole next a chimp must move a door that opens a handle to release the fruit payout Spiteri now trains a chimp named Judy how to work the device on her own she would never work it out but thanks to a sweet liquid reward she learns the sequences two steps rotate then push next Judy's group mates enter Spiteri wants to know if just by watching the spectators will learn the technique can these Apes ate to win this food finding game one chimp seems to think she's got it and shoves Judy aside a minute ago judy was the only one with the knowledge now another has it and quickly the trick spreads throughout the group but hospital the most important question remains have the next-door neighbors also learned the solution they have no social ties to the original group in fact they are hostile towards them will they set that aside to keep up with the Joneses next door in no time at all they're working the slot machine like old pros rotating then pushing the handle learning by imitation is an essential skill for culture and culture along with the complex thoughts and emotions behind it was long believed to be uniquely human the history of Western thought has always been premised on the idea that they're beasts and they're humans the humans are touched by the spark of God and beasts are just beasts something of a revolution came in 1960 when a young researcher with support from the National Geographic Society set up camp in Tanzania Jane Goodall observed the chimp emotions seem much like our own especially the tenacious bond between mother and baby at a site in western Africa Japanese researchers reported the story of an ill two-year-old chimp her mother touches her phorid as if to check for a fever as the baby's strength herbs her mother remains devoted when I see the scene of the mother looking at the baby clearly recognized the emotional life of chimpanzees are so similar to us four weeks after the baby's death the mother carries her baby's body is the mother grieving can an ape be in denial it is impossible to say exactly what the mother is thinking but hard to dismiss her feelings putting a promotions on the map was just one of goodall's accomplishments she also found powerful evidence of their intelligence Goodall was the first to report chimps making and using tools in this case to fish for termites when she found her might fishing people was so surprised and that we should change the definition of humans or we should include chimpanzees humans what Goodall couldn't have known was at a place called Gullu go other chimps had an even more sophisticated way to catch termites first they use a big stick like a shovel to open the ground then they switch to a slender probe to pull up the insects perhaps Goodall's most astonishing discovery was the chimps are hunters she watched a troop catching colobus monkeys by hand although no one has established that they coordinate their efforts the chimps appear to be cooperating and cooperation is after all one of the key drivers of human culture could a speed up their culture by working together imagine a group of chimps armed and dangerous' hunting as a band why isn't the earth the Planet of the Apes do apes even have the capacity to cooperate a series of new studies reveals the rudiments of teamwork in the great apes but they still come up short in an experiment of the great ape Research Institute in Japan a chimp knows that food is hidden under a stone researchers replace it with a heavier stone if two chimps each know about the food can they work together in repeated trials no pair of chimps has ever cooperated to synchronize their pulling if one chimp is replaced with a person the other animal still doesn't collaborate at first but eventually it figures out the sweet rewards of cooperation altum Utley the chimp learns to ask for a helping hand a needy chimp may well recruit help from a human but will it ever offer assistance one of the most surprising findings of all my years of studying apes has been that they actually will help humans if you're reaching for an out of reach object if they understand what your goal is then they will help you of course if you dropped your banana you can forget it you won't be getting it back chimps can understand what someone else wants one study shows that they can even interpret another's actions as good or bad in Leipzig Germany a chimpanzee is about to receive a tray of food at the same time he's given a rope under the platform he can pull at any time to collapse the platform and end the experiment another chimp now enters the cage this chimp is free to pull a second rope on top of the tray the first chain is ticked off he pulls the hidden rope and the game is over was he generally outraged or taking specific revenge on the thief to find out it is the researcher that now moves the food once again the first chimp has lost his meal to the second all that has changed is who is responsible in trials where the researcher moves the food the first chimp is much less likely to crash the platform that would punish an innocent chimp so chimps have a sense of justice and they can cooperate with people can they collaborate spontaneously with each other researchers place fruit on a board just out of a chimpanzees reach the chimps are behind bars to keep them from the food and because they can be impulsive strong and dangerous when a solo chimp can read you both ends of a rope it holds them in and gets all the food but on some trials the ends are too far apart if the chimp pulls just one end the rope on threads the chimp has another option he can unlock a door to bring in a helper who has been watching the two chimps now work together but a series of trials shows that this teamwork doesn't come easily the helper must be a friend and the food divided into separate dishes can a more loving ape cooperate better at Lola a bonobo sanctuary in the Congo victims of the pet trade are raised by human mothers when these bonobos grow up they will spend their days outdoors becoming savvy about life in the forest bonobos are the most social of the great apes and in their groups all friends are friends with benefits a simple way to defuse tension karma than chimps how do bonobos fare in the cooperation test food is placed in a central shared well okay ready all the food is in the same dish so it's very easy for one individual to bump the other individual all the way and steal it all it takes the bonobos a while to get on task but soon they get the hang of it with their more congenial temperaments bonobos are more cooperative than chimps are in fact bonobos may take cooperation even further when a young male died at the center in Japan workers tried to remove his body the staff decided to use sticks and try to move the bonobo towards a door they mounted an incredible defense of this body that surprised everybody and was extremely moving that's a fascinating reaction on the part of the bonobos they were not related to that individual and yet they took extreme risks to protect his body as they fend off the humans it seems as if they are cooperating but what does it take to work together are they comparing the number of staff to their own throats can they calculate at all at Kyoto University tats or amatsu zoa's experiments are revealing the chimps can in fact develop an astonishing facility for numbers he first trained a chimpanzee named eye to touch the numeral that matched the number of dots once I knew zero to nine matter ZOA displayed the numbers helter-skelter on the screen I quickly learn to touch them in ascending order in the final test as soon as I touch is the numeral one white squares cover up the remaining numbers can the chimp possibly remember all the numbers and their locations and touch them in order the performance was really amazing much much better than we have expected but for I learning numbers was a struggle almost the same amount of training was necessary to teach three each for or teach five or even worse it takes more time to teach five and then six I never got the feeling the children get when they realize you just add one to get the next number in the United States another ape shows a surprising gift for language a bonobo named Khan Z now at the great ape trust in Iowa picked up English without being directly taught wearing a mask to avoid cueing konzi researcher sue savage romba tests his comprehension very nice thank you can't savage romba measures Khan's vocabulary at 3,000 spoken English words while Apes can master words and numbers other research shows that something else is limiting their cooperation apes have emotional shoes rivalry violence and most of all they are impulsive in a celebrated study that investigated impulse control Sally boysson of the Ohio State University asked chimps to choose between two dishes of sweets now you watch carefully are you watching TV we're gonna put two in here which we give those she only gets two Oh too bad the twist was the chimp got the sweets that she didn't point to five could she learn to resist her impulse to reach for the bigger pile amazingly in the study chimps never overcame their greedy urges they always reached for more and so ended up with less impulse studies have also been run on humans in a classic experiment of the 1970s a researcher gives a four-year-old a simple choice okay but if you can't wait you can push that button like this and then I'll come back and you can have this bowl with just this one gummy bear okay okay okay I'll be right back according to an inconclusive but intriguing study the longer the children resisted temptation the higher their school test results would be years later in any case the differences between people are small compared to the gap separating humans and apes maybe one of the first things that happened during our species evolution is we became much less emotionally reactive maybe that's one of the big differences that may explain why we solve problems so differently we sort of got control of our emotions can apes be given skills to help them master their emotions Sully boysson trained a chimp to understand numerals she then repeated the experiment with the switz but off of different pairs of numerals remarkably troops were now able to learn what they couldn't before pointing to the smaller number to get the bigger prize symbols can make you free they can help distance and a from its impulses but outside of the lab Apes don't seem to use symbols still eight minds seem to share many of the amazing features of the human mind they have sophisticated social emotions they can cooperate they have culture their mental rocket's is on the launch pad why isn't it taking off on an average day human beings filed thousands of patents post tens of thousands of messages over the internet and think millions of thoughts that have never been thought before our closest relatives are different on a good day an ape is lucky to use a tool to crack a nut what prevents ape culture from igniting like the human version recent studies that compare the human and ape mind are revealing something surprising bonobos like Kongsi show their own kind of genius could you take my shoe off please you might need nine pyre even skeptics agree that kanji understands more words than any other non-human animal he also uses an array of visual symbols to communicate but on closer inspection kanji like all great apes lacks the full mental package take Khan's ease use of language most of the time he will use these symbols to request things to say take me there or give me that now tanzie will not use those symbols to talk about the weather or to just make small talk which is a very human thing when human infants communicate with others they engage in a real conversation where each conversational turn is responsive to the turn that came before and they even asked for clarification if they need so you say huh or you say yeah and you let the other one know how the communication is going to engage in a real conversation each speaker needs a sense of what the other is thinking call this skill mind-reading young children have not fully developed it and she's got a ball that she really likes this is her ball but she used to go away for a little bit so princess Sally is gonna hide her ball right over here in the bag so you princess Sally hiding her ball right there in the purple bag yeah so here she goes she's gonna go away for just a little bit now Wow princess Sally's away we're gonna play a little trick on her okay we're gonna move her ball from the purple bag over here to the green bag see how we've moved the ball over there okay so guess what princess Sally's coming back where is princess Sally gonna first look for her ball over here in the green bag can you tell me why is princess Sally gonna go over here three-year-olds make consistent mistakes about what others know the thing that's amazing about three-year-olds is how convinced they are about their wrong answer they're so sure that she's gonna look for her ball where it really is cuz she wants it and that's where it is but by the age of four most children are accomplished mind reader's so she's gonna look in the purple bag so that she can find her ball as recently as 2001 studies seem to show that apes don't know what others are thinking but they're new experiments began to reveal unexpected skills in one study as a chimp approaches a treat Brian hare moves it out of reach establishing himself as a competitor next pair blocks his own view of one of the treats but leaves another within his sight it looks like they're generating a plan and saying to themselves okay I want that food and the one I'm most likely to get is the one he's not looking at or the ones that if I sneak around he won't see me and therefore I can have my yummy banana treated this chimp seems to know what is on his mind what he can see and what he can't so chimps seem to share some of our skills of mind-reading do we have any mental skills which are uniquely our own a key clue comes from a new experiment back at the University of Texas Victoria Horner shows a chimp how to operate a puzzle box to get a treat first she taps then she slots next she pokes the chimp copies fairly well and gets the sweet this game we're gonna play is about this special box I brought all right there's a gummy bear it's your turn children copy the actions much as the chimp stood all right good job second box that I show the chimpanzees is this one and it's identical to the opaque box except that it's made out of material which is see-through only now is it obvious that the tapping and poking don't achieve a thing the box has a false ceiling the chimps cut to the chase they skip the needless steps for the Apes it is all about the treat what this study shows is that Apes don't just mindlessly ape they also understand something more about causing effects we found something quite surprising the children were predisposed to copy even when it meant that they were doing something that was really rather silly so this seems a little like the chimps are outsmarting the kids in this particular study there he is you got him out why do children imitate slavishly the root of the children's behavior is the fact that they view me as a grown-up possibly as a teacher the children expect to be taught is a vital difference while Apes can copy most researchers believe that they do not teach each other learning from someone else is the fastest way to get a new idea faster than learning by imitation faster than inventing a new technology in the first place in children upon Shan for teaching appears even before language kicks in in the form of a deceptively simple gesture pointing a toddler knows that the cup being pointed to is the one that hides the treat parents love it when their kids start printing because it's evidence that the kids trying to communicate with them parents definitely notice the difference between babies who just went to ask for things and babies who point to show them things apes don't seem to get that kind of point in it doesn't matter with a brown hair points or stairs or Orient's his body this young bonobo is unaware that he is trying to communicate they were clueless at using the information even after lots and lots of trials they didn't use the information I provided them and it was a big surprise to everybody pointing relies on a particular mental skill a little difference that makes a big difference whenever I point I'm actually directing your attention towards a third object and you have to understand that my attention is on that object and that I'm asking you now to attend to the same object so there's sort of a triangle between us and the object this mental skill this triangle turbocharges teamwork but you'll see with the human mother and baby is that the mother is constantly trying to show the baby what to do and the baby is trying to tune in to what the mother wants and so you have a full triangle of mother and baby and the thing in the environment that they're trying to work on it's a special cognitive achievement for some reason kids do this naturally almost immediately and curiously it can't get into that at the moment we have no evidence that aides have shared goals based on shared commitments they do things together they coordinate their actions together but they don't have a shared commitment to a shared goal the triangle is the core skill that makes teaching possible humans have it apes seem to lack it but apes are also missing one more thing it's a key emotional driver the passion to cheer each other on good good good job well done this kind of facilitation giving a hand encouragement is the base of teaching it seems like it's not just a cognitive capacity that's necessary for teaching there's this other thing which is wanting to teach that seems to be really pervasive in humans and maybe mysteriously missing in Apes the pieces are now coming together apes have a culture a rare achievement in the animal world they can learn from each other through imitation but this process is passive often slow and can easily backslide probably there's a lot of slippage there's a lot of loss of cultural innovations between generations when you're talking about a chimpanzee if an ape invents something new and important and interesting maybe some others will learn it maybe they won't unique among animals humans have both the passion and the mental skill to teach each other when you're a student rather than a spectator learning happens rapidly that's because teaching locks in progress human cultural traditions have a cumulative quality that each generation builds on the things of the previous generation so if you look at the history of any interesting technology and started out simple and the children of that generation learned a simple version but then some genius made an improvement to it and everyone follows right away and we get this ratcheting up in complexity an8 may stand on another shoulders but only humans can stand on the intellectual shoulders of giants it's such a great privilege to be able to work with these animals and try to understand what's going on their head when they look at you so gingerly and softly is it they're thinking oh he's such a nice guy and boy I wish I knew it was going on his head or she thinking gosh what's that spot is it dirt could I eat that in spite of their limitations when we look into the eyes of a fellow ape we don't feel a gap but a deep connection we can't resist a chimp reaching out for help or a group of unrelated bonobos rallying to the defense of another or a mother refusing to let go of her dead baby but as the most social of apes we can't help reading thoughts and feelings into the mind behind any familiar face and perhaps that says more about us than then

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43 thoughts on “The Bonobos Ape (Nature Documentary)

  1. Bullshit! these chimpanzees may be more like you! But not me. I'm not an animal I was created human, and animals were created animals period.

  2. Not going to lie, I was thinking of using sticks to fish out the peanut from the tube. Never dawned on me to use water. That ape understood buoyancy.

  3. We are not better than them , they live in tune with nature and their lifestyle is 100% sustainable. We created a world of garbage, slavery and unmanageable pollution to sustain comfy higher classes . Wake up , the planet is being destroyed by our way of living . Not natural . Billionaires are not natural . Religion is not natural .

  4. At the end of the day, the key difference between humans and higher order apes is the consequences for observing others. Humans and apes both watch others. However, where an observed human may say 'stop watching me', a watched ape may attack and kill the observer. Thus, learning from others is far greater in humans than apes.

  5. 40:00. No, the children are not outsmarted. Rather, the children have learned that exact imitation produces results. Children have other knowledge (e.g., magnetism) that chimps will never create an association with. Do the same study again but have the tapping down into the whole turn off a magnetic lock and you will have different results. Again, this is due to task demands rather than ability.

  6. Personally, I believe that higher primates can demonstrate metacognition. It's humans that have not set up the right task yet. Unfortunately, my research has moved beyond comparative psychology.

  7. The language comprehension difference between Bonobos and Human children in the impulsive experiments is a confound.

  8. Maybe Chimps will ask for and help humans because they don't feel in competition with them, whereas they are in competition with other chimps.

  9. Comparing the children to ape experiment was so poorly done 😂 you obviously asked them to copy you not just get the treat… And about asking the kid where the puppet should look first you need to say SHOULD look first and make it clear. The kid knows, you just asked poorly. Nice try

  10. @18:30 this behaviour is not unique to great apes. Dogs will ask a human to open a door so they can go outside and dogs will fetch items for humans.

  11. @30:00 and @40:00 they are assuming that the children like gummy bears. What if the children had already been taught that candy was bad for them? They would not take the gummy bear in that case. Or the child could simply be playing with the device like a toy and are not motivated by the gummy bear.

  12. i wonder if there was anywhere that was legal to experiment a neurological test with psilocybe mushroom on chimps, i can't help but think that like humanity it would enhance the brain and evolve it much greater than left on it's own without psilocybe.

  13. Yeah what's holding them back from being like humans? destroying the planet, killing each other with bombs, living in a rat race trying to obtain materialistic things that do not benefit us. Enslaving every other species for "food" on mass scales literally breeding trillions of animals just to then kill. And not to mention humans creating items that will basically never decompose. Humans are currently a scourge that disrupts any semblance of how life and the ecosystems should work. Maybe we should ask ourselves what is holding US back instead of vice versa.

  14. It's so silly to see humans trying to find the one thing that would give us a superior edge. If apes were studying us, they would for sure find themselves superior to us. Proving that we are superior has always given us the right to do anything we wanted to do unto other types of lives. It is also proving that we are inferior in many ways. So silly anyone can find himself to be superior to someone else if he wanted to.. That person can be inferior in many other ways though.

  15. I just cannot believe how much humans think as themselves as being superior just by the way they compare human skills to ape skills. Just because apes cannot launch a rocket. But how many humans can launch a rocket? And how many humans could crack a nut if they were in the wild or climb a tree..

  16. If you look at a human face, you can see it has evolved to be a conduit for sociality. White surround pupil and iris, focusing our attention on them, lips are tighter, enabling the manipulation of sound as it leaves the mouth. Hair is focused primarily on top of our very fractile heads, that tend to focus towards the nose(which yet again focuses back onto eyes and lips).

  17. I love how the chimp goes and takes his hand asking for help! On the other hand The chimp who crashed the platform to punish the other chimp was ohhhhh!! My.

  18. The only thing holding them back is time they can make simple tools they'll soon(in a very long time)learn how to either make fire and cook or complete tasks in order. whatever comes first. Most likely the ability to make fire and cook. Then they're brains abilities will increase at a dramatic rate

  19. TLDW: chimps are sort of fucking stupid and have stupid fucking impulsive tendencies. They can barley do simple fucking math and they will beat the fucking shit out of you and not give a fucking fuck.

  20. They act just like blacks / Africaan Americans…Always trying to hump anything and everything…That's why here in the West we call blacks BONOBOS

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