24 February 2010

Researchers can have empathy for their animal subjects, says Jane Goodall.

"Most recently there was a report of a Fongoli chimp performing a "fire dance" in response to a bush fire, similar to the slow-motion display that Gombe chimps carry out during rainstorms. This kind of cultural variation may well give us an insight into how behaviours are transmitted socially, rather than through individual learning or genetic transmission, and has implications for our understanding of early hominid evolution. In a sense, if we lose chimps we lose a part of our own history."


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