Chimpanzees display a lot of behavior that we could consider human behavior and they even have culture that they pass on to their future generations and offspring. When famed primate researcher Jane Goodall told Louis Leakey that chimps used tools, Leakey responded by telling her that if that is the case then we will have to change the definition of “tools” or change the definition of what it means to be “human.” Ironically, not only do chimps use tools but they also engage in other human-like behaviors such a sorrow and remorse for the dead, war, kissing, affection, and teaching their young how to use tools and use tools in new ways. We share 97% of our DNA with chimps and when you study them that becomes VERY obvious. As we learn more and more about chimps and apes in general we discover more and more that the line between human and ape becomes more and more blurred.
Mother chimps teach their young how to use broken branches to crush nuts and the infants learn as their mother showed them. The mother will correct the error made by the infant and teach them other skills necessary for survival. Research shows that females are the most adept at tool use and it may be that it wasn’t ancient male humans that developed tools but ancient female humans!
Chimps have minds and they think. They can learn quickly by observation and other learning techniques. They can watch a keeper unlock a gate and then unlock the gate themselves afterwards. They use sticks to take the marrow out of bones. They use stick wands to catch and eat ants and termites. They sometimes kill and eat meat. They use symbols and gestures to communicate with others in their group. They patrol their borders and sometimes they go to war with other groups and they usually go after the face and gentials first.
If you look into a chimps eyes you can see intelligents. These are not the “dumb animals” we think they are at all. Before grooming each other males will hold their hands up together in a salute. I found a great video about chimps on YouTube which is below. Watch it. You’ll be surprised!