Yes, you read that correctly…new research has demonstrated that it is not just humans that can ascertain the thoughts, beliefs and desires of others…chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans correctly anticipate others’ actions as well. The findings of this exciting new study are best summed up by the famous primatologist Frans de Waal of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University:
Thanks to these results, the claim that only humans can ascertain the mental states of others “is starting to wobble,” he wrote in a commentary that accompanies the study.
“It’s a useful reminder that humans shouldn’t be so quick to put themselves on a pedestal. Reading others’ minds is beyond anybody’s capacity. All we can do — and what apes apparently do in similar ways — is read bodies.”
Read more about the study and watch two videos from the experiments here:
and here are some other takes on the research findings: