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Chimp Found Plotting Against Zoo Guests

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the give-em-hell-Santino dept.

Science 435

rjshirts writes "In further proof that Planet of the Apes is coming to pass, researchers in Stockholm, Sweden have proof that primates can plan ahead. From the article: 'Santino the chimpanzee's anti-social behavior stunned both visitors and keepers at the Furuvik Zoo but fascinated researchers because it was so carefully prepared. According to a report in the journal Current Biology, the 31-year-old alpha male started building his weapons cache in the morning before the zoo opened, collecting rocks and knocking out disks from concrete boulders inside his enclosure. He waited until around midday before he unleashed a "hailstorm" of rocks against visitors, the study said.'"

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Translation (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156801)


Translation: "I'm an intelligent primate who doesn't like being caged up for your amusement."

Re:Translation (4, Funny)

IAR80 (598046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156885)

And they call me anti-social next they are going to call me a communist.

Re:Translation (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157185)

And they call me anti-social next they are going to call me a communist.

But doesn't anti-socialism lead to anti-communism?

Re:Translation (-1, Redundant)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157771)

Well socialism leads to communism, so it makes sense!

Re:Translation (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157863)

Wow I would simply not have made the connection without your helpful comment. Much obliged!

Re:Translation (5, Funny)

Capt. Cooley (1438063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156917)

Intelligent? Maybe. Good aim? Definitely not. He didn't even seriously injure anyone. This is news why?

Re:Translation (4, Informative)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156971)

Because it's an aspect of chimpanzee intelligence that hadn't previously been observed, apparently. One of the key differences between humans and animals is that humans have a much more advanced ability to predict what will happen in the future and to make preparations to deal with that prediction.
In this case, the chimp remembered that people were outside of his cage on other days, and realized that that would probably be true again. He prepared for that prediction. Animals just don't tend to plan ahead, and it's exciting that this one did.

Translation:Cycles. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157063)

"In this case, the chimp remembered that people were outside of his cage on other days, and realized that that would probably be true again. He prepared for that prediction. Animals just don't tend to plan ahead, and it's exciting that this one did."

You mean like when elephants come back to the same grazing area year after year?

Re:Translation:Cycles. (5, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157131)

No. Elephants don't bring sticks and rocks to scare away lions they regularly meet at yearly watering holes.

This involved:
- detection of arbitrary cycles
- planning for how to deal with them
- relatively elaborate creation of tools to support plan

Pretty exciting stuff indeed.

Re:Translation:Cycles. (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157247)

Pretty impress CV; I'd hire him.

Re:Translation:Cycles. (5, Funny)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157263)

You get to hire your own management? I'm impressed.

Re:Translation:Cycles. (-1, Troll)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157455)

Better qualified than the current sitting president...

Disclaimer: The above comment was not a racial one. It was a comment on the fact that anyone,even an animal could do a better job as president than Barack Obama. Hell.. my pocket lint is better qualified to run this country.

Re:Translation:Cycles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157559)

Exaggeration aside, you have some pretty damn smart lint in your pocket.

Re:Translation:Cycles. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157671)

Disclaimer: I felt like being an off-topic tool on a political soapbox, and felt the need to qualify my dick-headed statement in order to appease the level-headed /.'ers with mod points who will, no doubt, still do the right thing and mod me into oblivion.

Fixed that for ya, Herr Douchewolfen

Re:Translation:Cycles. (-1, Troll)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157885)

Hmmm... wonder who the douche is around here. I place my disclaimer so those who are race baiters in the mold of Al Sharpton do not get their panties in a bunch and misunderstand what I mean. If anyone was being political, it was you. I was pointing out that the current president is doing a piss-poor job at leading the country.

And I am no more off topic than a lot of posts on Slashdot. Its just you got your left-wing Marxist stick up your ass in a twist because I made a comment about your messiah. And you don't have the balls to post as yourself. You hide behind the anonymous coward posting ability like most of the loony left. You think it gives you the right to be an asshole. Guess what.. posting anonymous or not, you still are a small, sad, little man (or woman... or chimp) who has no ideas of your own save 'The One's' talking points handed down from on high like Moses got the 10 commandments. I truly pity you and those like you... well maybe not. I am a douche according to you after all.

Re:Translation:Cycles. (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158107)

you got your left-wing Marxist stick up your ass in a twist

As a conservative, I'd also rate your original post an off-topic troll.

I am a douche...

Agreed.

Re:Translation:Cycles. (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157775)

Arguably, he demonstrated more foresight and planning than the primates running the investment banks on Wall Street.

Re:Translation:Cycles. (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157843)

Isn't storing nuts for the winter or eating a lot of food prior to hibernation "plan[ning] ahead"? I guess the counter-argument is that it's just instinct.

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157281)

Because it's an aspect of chimpanzee intelligence that hadn't previously been observed, apparently.

Years ago I read about some animal sanctuary where they were trying to keep chimpanzees in captivity. They had to run the place like a real jail for humans. If you forget to lock a door in (say) the elephant enclosure at the zoo you would be okay for a while. Not so with chimps.

I am surprised that anybody is surprised by this. Chimpanzees are nasty scheming vicious murderous animals. Just like us.

Re:Translation (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157985)

That's not apples to apples. The difference is that if you forget the lock, the chimp will check at some point, and then immediately leave the cage.

But in this case it was a plan based upon the prediction of future emotional states, which is quite a bit different. It had been seen before, but not in a way that was clearly based upon planning and foresight.

Re:Translation (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158015)

Years ago I read about some animal sanctuary where they were trying to keep chimpanzees in captivity. They had to run the place like a real jail for humans. If you forget to lock a door in (say) the elephant enclosure at the zoo you would be okay for a while. Not so with chimps.

I am surprised that anybody is surprised by this.

I think the key here is that the chimp anticipated future events and planned rather than just showing an understanding of the current situation, which are dramatically different capabilities. A chimp realizing the door is unlocked is one thing, that is interesting enough given what we usually think of non-human intelligence (I'd say ignorance rather than arrogance, I'm not around a lot of chimps). It's another to demonstrate that the chimp can forecast events that haven't occoured yet, this is something that humans seem barely capable of.

Maybe something in TFA backs me up on this... Holy crap, suprise of suprises, IT DOES!

"These observations convincingly show that our fellow apes do consider the future in a very complex way," said the author of the report, Lund University Ph.D. student Mathias Osvath. "It implies that they have a highly developed consciousness, including lifelike mental simulations of potential events."...

The observations confirmed the result of a staged laboratory experiment reported in 2006 by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. In that case orangutans and bonobos were able to figure out which tool would work in an effort to retrieve grapes, and were able to remember to bring that tool along hours later.

To be honest, I'm suprised that you're suprised that people who study chimps are suprised by this. These seem to be people who know chimps pretty well, if this were an old result, you'd think they wouldn't be wasting their time. Whenever I've thought an expert in a field I don't know as well is wasting their time, I usually come to realize that I was actually not understanding the situation.

Re:Translation (2, Interesting)

nobdoor (1496229) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157439)

It's arrogant and naive to think humans have a 'much more advanced ability to think ahead' than animals.

Animals just don't tend to plan ahead"

Please. Any kid with a subscription to zoobooks can tell you about arctic foxes burying portions of a kill for later use during winter. And what other animal has raped and exploited nature for its own immediate gains? Lets see where global warming takes us, then I'll ask you how good we are at 'thinking ahead'.

Re:Translation (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157735)

The tricky bit, when trying to study animal cognition(or lack thereof, depending on the instance) is distinguishing between things that aren't cognition; but look like it, and things that actually are.

In the fox case, for instance, the fox might be thinking ahead, and storing food for the future, or foxes might have a "when not hungry, bury available food" instinct. This doesn't mean that the fox isn't planning ahead; but you can't tell one way or the other.

Thus, researchers are always on the lookout for situations that can distinguish between the two. Novel situations where instincts wouldn't be expected to apply, pathological situations where instincts would fail if applied, etc.

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157819)

Any kid with a subscription to zoobooks can tell you about arctic foxes burying portions of a kill for later use during winter.

There is a VERY important difference here. Arctic foxes don't survive through a few winters without a food cache and think "hey I bet it's going to do that again next year, maybe I should stash some food this summer so I have more to eat next winter?". Evolution has taught them to do that. Same as any other instinctual behavior in any other animal. Babies don't learn to suck the tit.

These chimps identified a pattern, and prepared in advance to benefit themselves when they expected it to repeat. Gathering rocks in the morning to attack tourists in the afternoon is not evolutionary adaptation. Something like that could become an evolutionary behavioral adaptation, but not from 100 years of zoos.

Re:Translation (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157497)

Yesterday we brought the pet carrier out from the basement and as soon as the cat saw it she hid behind the sofa. Predicting what will happen next is something any mammal can learn. That's not what this story is about. It's about planning tool use for the future.

Re:Translation (3, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157813)

Recognizing a scary object is not the same thing as remembering that a scary object might appear at a certain interval. If you're cat remembered that you took it to the vet on March 10, 2008, too, and it hid in the garage yesterday for that reason, then you'd have a scientific breakthrough.

Re:Translation (3, Interesting)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157581)

Animals just don't tend to plan ahead, and it's exciting that this one did.

I wonder what all the animals that prepare to hibernate in the winter would think of your statement?

Regardless, this may interest you: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/09/1825206 [slashdot.org]

A parrot (now dead) that understood cause and effect. If he answered a question correctly, like counting the number of blocks of a certain colour, he was allowed a treat. (only if he asked for it)

If he got it wrong, no treat. Apparently he learned not to ask for treats after getting the answer wrong, which unless I'm mistaken (quite likely - I'm not an expert :P ) means he also re-examined his answers after giving them.

Pretty smart bird. Doesn't really surprise me that a genetically closer mammal was able to prepare for a future event.

Re:Translation (4, Interesting)

Shihar (153932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157865)

I wonder what all the animals that prepare to hibernate in the winter would think of your statement?

You are under the assumption that it is planning that causes an animal to prepare to hibernate and not pure instinct leading them by the nose.

You don't eat because you realize that if don't various mechanisms in your body are going to fail. You eat because you are hungry. The same is true for hibernation, mating, and a pile of other "planned" behaviors. Two deer don't bang in the fall because they realize that this is their chance to make babies and if they miss the window they will have none. They got at it because they are horny.

Re:Translation (3, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157037)

I don't think that the monkey had that bad of aim. He managed to hit people from their cage described by TFA as: "The attacks were only directed at humans viewing the apes across the moat surrounding the island compound where they were held."

I don't know how many people I could hit from across a moat. Just saying...

Re:Translation (0)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157137)

Interesting premise there. Maybe it isn't a universal trait that serious injury or death is the only way to express displeasure? Maybe they were not intended to brain the targets? I have a strong suspicion that if he wanted to nail someone between the eyes with a rock, he could have. Or even just a body shot.

Maybe he hasn't "evolved" to the stage where he believes he needs to kill his problems yet. Give him some time :P

Re:Translation (2, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157229)

Intelligent? Maybe. Good aim? Definitely not. He didn't even seriously injure anyone. This is news why?

The morning radio show mentioned this today. Said he broke a couple arms, gave a few concussions and one guy is still "knocked out"...

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157241)

I remember a scene from the movie 'Silverado' where Cleese and the deputy are being shot at by Danny Glover.

AFTER SHOTS HIT EVERYTHING AROUND THEM.
DEPUTY: "Let's go, he ain't hittin' nothin'"
CLEESE "You idiot, he's hit everything he's aimed at"

Kind of reminds me of this monkey somehow.

Re:Translation (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157265)

You're assuming he was actually trying to hit someone. Watching humans scream with panic and run away when you throw things at them is funny! Watching them fall down, bleed, and get carried away in a stretcher -- not so funny. He's throwing rocks for the same reason most chimps throw feces -- not because he is trying to injure a spectator, but because it amuses him to see their reaction!

Re:Translation (5, Funny)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157113)

Clearly not intelligent enough - to really assert his intelligence he ought to be constructing small enclosures for other animals to keep for his own amusement.

Only intelligent animals keep other animals in cages.

Re:Translation (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157145)

Translation: "I'm an intelligent primate who doesn't like being caged up for your amusement."

They must be even more prepared than we originally suspected...

They've hired a translator!

Re:Translation (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157209)

No big deal... they just used Babelfish and clicked on "Chimp to English". But we probably ought to revoke these chimps' internet access -- we've already got enough people acting like monkeys on the 'net!

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157295)

"Chimp to English"

Is that what they used to translate Bush's speeches?

Re:Translation (2, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157363)

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157461)

Yeah, just try that with the current president.

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157631)

Comparing Bush to a chimp is considered fair game. Comparing Obama to one is considered unacceptable. One president is afforded better treatment and respect because of the color of his skin, and somehow this is touted as preventing rather than exemplifying racism.

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158075)

One president is afforded better treatment and respect because of the color of his skin

You really believe that that's the only difference between the two men?

Re:Translation (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157587)

No big deal... they just used Babelfish and clicked on "Chimp to English". But we probably ought to revoke these chimps' internet access -- we've already got enough people acting like monkeys on the 'net!

Nah, if they did that it would come out as "intelligent am I monkey ook ook eek eek enclosure keeping of likeness not".

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157783)

As a 30 yo programmer sitting in this cube for the last year, I identify with that monkey.

Re:Translation (1)

vandelais (164490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158085)

Are you posting from work again?
Signed, your boss.

Jane Goodal (3, Funny)

IAR80 (598046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156835)

Bring me that Jane Goodall chick!

Re:Jane Goodal (2, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158081)

The we'd see more of this behavior. [janegoodall.org]

And I for one... (3, Funny)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156849)

welcome our well perpaired monkey overloards...

Re:And I for one... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157011)

Wait, which way do you think the bars on his cage work?

Re:And I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157043)

our well perpaired monkey overloards...

nice try astroturfing, chimp :)

Primate Dilemma (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156863)

Rocks or feces...hmmmm.
Maybe I'll just stick with chairs.

Re:Primate Dilemma (0, Redundant)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156909)

Maybe I'll just stick with chairs.

Ballmer?!? Is that you?

Re:Primate Dilemma (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157055)

You get 1 point for getting the joke.

You forfeit all points for a period of 1 year for thinking that it is funny to say so.

Re:Primate Dilemma (4, Funny)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156943)

From TFA: "For a while, zoo keepers tried locking Santino up in the morning so he couldn't collect ammunition for his assaults, but he remained aggressive. They ultimately decided to castrate him in the autumn last year[...]"

I would throw feces. Look what throwing rocks gets you...

Re:Primate Dilemma (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157015)

A younger chimp would have hit what he was throwing rocks at.

Damn dirty , uh, chimps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156881)

Next thing you know they'll be taking down the Statue of Liberty..

Har har..

Anyhoo, just wanted to mention my favorite charity:

http://www.janegoodall.org/chimp_guardian/default.asp [janegoodall.org]

The fact that chimpanzees are so close to us is a strong argument for us to defend them.

Re:Damn dirty , uh, chimps (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156955)

The fact that chimpanzees are so close to us is a strong argument for us to defend them.

No the fact that chimps are so close to us is a strong argument to wipe the little bastards out quick before they figure out a way to take us out! Every day we find out Chimpanzees are more and more like us... I don't know about you, but that scares the hell out of me!

Re:Damn dirty , uh, chimps (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156975)

You maniacs - you blew it up!

Re:Damn dirty , uh, chimps (1)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157071)

The fact that chimpanzees are so close to us is a strong argument for us to defend them.

It's also a strong argument to destroy them utterly as prophylaxis to prevent other HIV-like disease crossovers into our population.

Re:Damn dirty , uh, chimps (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157829)

Defend them? Or destroy them?

Intelligence in animals (3, Funny)

thegnu (557446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156887)

I'm always surprised when science finds out about something I already knew. Now, I know I probably know things that actually aren't true, but sometimes it's downright shocking that people didn't know something. :/

Re:Intelligence in animals (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156999)

Agent Kay: "Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

Re:Intelligence in animals (1)

Quintilian (1496723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157089)

This proves how stupid chimps really are: if they'd just put some pants on, people wouldn't point and laugh so much!

Re:Intelligence in animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157277)

Well, that's the thing: when did you ever bother to figure out which things you "know" are true, and publish that knowledge? Don't give people crap for doing something you're too lazy to.

Re:Intelligence in animals (3, Funny)

thegnu (557446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157597)

Because when I publish my knowledge, AC-holes like yourself give me shit. And plus, I'm busy.

Re:Intelligence in animals (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157607)

Now, I know I probably know things that actually aren't true

Actually, that's not true.

And no escape plan? (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156903)

And no escape plan? It seems he didn't plan ahead far enough.

Re:And no escape plan? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157061)

Exactly. If it were me, I'd be caching weapons to use against the zoo keepers, in hopes of making my escape the next time they opened the door! Or have I been watching too many old Star Trek episodes?

Old news (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156921)

> "...researchers observe Chimp drinking water in preparation to spit on humans lurking just outside cage."

C'mon - anyone visiting a zoo has had opportunity to observe such behavior...how is a monkey's ammo bunker such a surprise.

A Clear Causation (2, Funny)

Frigga's Ring (1044024) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156935)

Although I have no basis for this observation, this new, violent behavior is clearly a result of exposure to violent video games. I'm proposing a measure to restrict the same of video games to primates. Won't someone please think about our zoo-faring children?

Re:A Clear Causation (2, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157085)

Although I have no basis for this observation, this new, violent behavior is clearly a result of exposure to violent video games.

I blame "Gorillas Gone Wild"

Re:A Clear Causation (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157245)

Just tax the rocks. Problem solved.

Re:A Clear Causation (1)

ZFox (860519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157919)

Better yet, just make a twenty day waiting period before the chimps can have their rocks.

Geez, he's more prepared than Barack Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156937)

Botched visit from British PM, Thinks spending like a whole navy of drunken sailors is "economic stimulus".

Re:Geez, he's more prepared than Barack Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157569)

Gee.. its funny how a Ballmer comment is ok, but you portray Obamamessiah in a less than flattering way, you are modded down.

Point and laugh. (5, Funny)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156969)

"For a while, zoo keepers tried locking Santino up in the morning so he couldn't collect ammunition for his assaults, but he remained aggressive. They ultimately decided to castrate him in the autumn last year, but will have to wait until the summer to see if that helps."

Guns don't kill people...uh oh!

"It is normal behavior for alpha males to want to influence their surroundings ... It is extremely frustrating for him that there are people out of his reach who are pointing at him and laughing," Osvath said. "It cannot be good to be so furious all the time."

Now we know why review sites get sued.

Re:Point and laugh. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157095)

"It is extremely frustrating for him that there are people out of his reach who are pointing at him and laughing," Osvath said. "It cannot be good to be so furious all the time."
Why is it that I know exactly how he feels?

not so different from us (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157007)

In the bigger picture of things, chimps aren't so very different from us. Roll our technology back 50,000 years, and hairstyles become the most immediately obvious difference.

Bah! (1)

TastyCakes (917232) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157019)

People always say "Chimp crime these days, it's out of control". But they do this with no historical perspective. When chimp crime peaked in the mid 1970s, chimps would hurl feces, not rocks, and we'd think ourselves lucky if it hadn't been eating apricots the meal earlier. I blame the internet and sensationalist media for making everyone think the problem is getting worse, when really it's getting better.

Chimps are mean little effers (4, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157067)

A good friend who past away a few years ago introduced me to some long time friends of his who own many chimps. One thing I was told flat out was, don't get near the cages. They are very good at trying to tempt people closer and never for any good. They will fondle themselves in front of you, throw stuff at you, and even be very violent should it be their wish. The problem is they are very very good at hiding the signs when it serves them. All of their chimps had their incisors (fang teeth) removed. For while they are very cute when young they would shame any unruly teenager when they are of age.

While I got a handshake and even a hug from one of the better behaved I was told that in no uncertain terms he was putting on a show to please them. Alone it would be a whole different story.

Re:Chimps are mean little effers (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157267)

They will fondle themselves in front of you, throw stuff at you, and even be very violent should it be their wish

I'll just leave this [esquire.com] here.

Found guilty (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157107)

the 31-year-old alpha male

      Not anymore - according to TFA he was castrated last year...

MI (2, Funny)

Tgeigs (1497313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157177)

"That's the second biggest monkey I've ever seen" I would have been more impressed if he declared "my name is Mr. Fossey" and challenged the visitors to insult sword fighting...

Somebody with good aim (1, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157215)

should throw some rocks back, and teach the little bastard a lesson.

Hate to say it, but... (0)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157221)

Correlation is not causation. It's entirely possible he was making a pile of rocks to amuse himself, and then later on, he was pissed off looking at the people, saw his rock collection, and took the opportunity.

That's far more likely than some entirely new behavior that's NEVER been observed in the hundreds of years of observing various simians.

Re:Hate to say it, but... (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157373)

I see your point, but how is this an example of confusing correlation with causation?

Re:Hate to say it, but... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157511)

Honestly, I was about to post something like this myself about my own post. :) I don't know why I said correlation. I think I'm feeling jet lagged from the changeover to DST.

Coincidence is not causation might be a better way to put it.

Re:Hate to say it, but... (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157579)

LOL. Understandable; and besides, let's face it, "correlation is not causation" is usually a safe default response around here. :)

Re:Hate to say it, but... (1)

CorSci81 (1007499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157639)

Given the full article implies the chimp exhibited this behavior regularly, I would say it's a simpler assumption that he gathered the rocks with the intention of throwing them. Also, it was a relatively recent discovery than many primate (and a few other animal species) use tools in the wild. I suspect there are very large gaps in the observational records of primates such that a blanket assertion that this behavior has never been observered would be untenable.

Re:Hate to say it, but... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157789)

Given the full article implies the chimp exhibited this behavior regularly, I would say it's a simpler assumption that he gathered the rocks with the intention of throwing them.

It's not simpler at all. The chimp may just have two behaviors that happen to overlap: 1) gathering rocks for fun, and 2) throwing rocks at people. Where is the evidence that the two behaviors are linked?

No Wonder (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157255)

No wonder he was sullen and attacking people - do you have any idea how cold it is in Sweden this time of year? Particularly for an animal used to living in equatorial Africa!

Maybe the guy at The Post had this in mind? (1)

aviators99 (895782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157309)

It's impressive, but can it arrange the rocks into the text of a new stimulous bill?

We better get ready... (1)

detox.method() (1413497) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157413)

In only a few million years they might rebel with fire and arrowheads.

Researchers are making a logical leap here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157473)

If I pile up some stones in my yard, and then later throw them at someone, does that imply that I planned to throw them at someone at the time I made the pile?

The fact that the chimp did not throw the stones until midday could indicate that there was no plan, and that it did not occur to the chimp to throw the stones until that time.

Nesting (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157845)

Soooooo, building nests and collecting food isn't 'planning ahead'?

Anyhoo, baboons frequently stone people and cars and they are way dumber than chimps. Even squirrels are known to toss acorns at passer's by.

(You are only a real Stellenboscher once a squirrel tossed an acorn at your head!)

Ahhh Just another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157889)

Yep, just another reason to kill all the monkeys. First species on the list to go, are the common forum lock monkeys.

Maybe time to change my sig (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157987)

Perhaps the simians are smarter than Congress... at least they plan ahead.....

Who's Dumber Now? (2, Interesting)

hduff (570443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158053)

I am far from an animal-rights activist, but my observations have been that humans generally consider non-human life to be really, really dumb. That's really just a way for us to feel superior regardless of any uncomfortable reality.

Shamefully, we even go so far as to make those distinctions between groups of humans.

It would seem that we are not so smart as we think and others are smarter than we feel comfortable with.

Big surprise . . .

Science is proof in itself... (1)

memorycardfull (1187485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158071)

that primates can plan ahead!
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