At Japan’s Kyoto University, the primate research institute conducts high-profile tests on different species of monkeys and apes. Publicly released projects include studies on cognition, learning, neuroscience, and the mental capacity of primates. One research section even aims to understand and teach chimpanzees language.
Fifteen monkeys finally got fed up with this captivity, but they had one major obstacle between them and freedom: a 17-foot high electrified fence.
These test subjects discovered they could rig a branch to act as a catapult, and one by one, launched themselves to freedom. But as The Daily Telegraph reports, the monkeys had no idea what to do once they were outside the enclosure.
Being raised in captivity, the monkeys were at a loss with what to do after escaping. They stayed near the fence, and were shortly recaptured after creative scientists found a way to bribe them with peanuts. The fact still remains that monkeys were victorious in outsmarting the scientists by using a primitive tool to render their electrified fence useless.
This is not a singular case of primate intelligence. Monkeys and apes have astonishing mental capabilities, and can even learn sign language to communicate with humans. One of the most famous of these primates is Koko, a gorilla who knows over 1,000 words.
Besides the ability to use language, some primates have made intelligent leaps that will send a chill down your spine.
Scientists and experts now say that with the creation of specialized tools and widespread use of them, chimpanzees have entered their own stone age. Chimpanzees are not the only ones to use tools. Smaller monkeys all across the world have been found using primitive hammers and sharp stones as tools.
The video below shows a troop of chimpanzees, deep in the jungle, that have mastered both hammers and anvils to access new food sources.
Tool creation and use are not the only way these intelligent species are advancing either.
Some scientists studying chimpanzees in West Africa theorize that they have created their own rituals as well. Stacking stones by trees may have started as a cry for attention during mating season, but as the rocks accumulated around a specific tree, even females with babies started laying stones on it.
The video below shows this activity as seen by hidden game cameras.
We still have a long way to go in understanding primates and the depths of their abilities. Hopefully we’ll have more answers in the future.
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