Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chimps like magic

Buzzfeed shows a highly entertaining snippet from Japanese television of a young chimp being given its own magic show. You could easily see the chimp's shocked reaction as some of the tricks blew its mind.

All very entertaining, but also a demonstration of the chimp's intelligence. It's easy to get a surprise reaction in animals by startling them, but I don't think a dog or horse has enough of a mental framework of the universe to notice that something had just gone very wrong in each of the tricks. Also worth noting how young the chimp is - I'd guess about three years old or so, and probably as far away from adult mental development for chimps as a six year old human would be from adult intelligence.

Entertaining and maybe enlightening. I guess I should also wonder though about what happens to the chimps when they're not so small and cute.

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