Saturday, June 23, 2007

Human Nature Rubs Off on Chimps

A bit of human nature can apparently rub off on chimpanzees. Chimps nurtured by humans since birth have a far better chance of figuring out ow to use new tools, a new study shows. The findings highlight untapped potential within chimpanzees that can get uncovered "by studying them when they have been raised under very comparable conditions as our own children," said Ohio State University cognitive primatologist Sally Boysen.
The research suggests that early human ancestors may have been far more sophisticated in their mental capacities than previously thought, she added. "The emergence of higher order thinking, as well as motor skills that would permit complex tool use and construction and other cultural features of human social interaction, may have been part of our human ancestry much earlier than otherwise predicted by the fossil record of artifacts and human remains," Boysen told LiveScience.