Sat, Jul 20, 2013 - Page 10 News List

Chimpanzees throw tantrums

A chimpanzee munches on a leek at Tama Zoo in Tokyo, Japan on Feb. 9.

Photo: AFP

Like many humans, chimpanzees and bonobos react quite emotionally when they take risks that fail to pay off.

This is according to researchers from Duke University in the US, who designed two decision-making games — one to test patience and the other assessing risk-taking.

Some animals that lost the game — receiving a bland piece of cucumber rather than a preferred piece of banana — reacted with what looked like the ape equivalent of a tantrum.

The animals could choose between receiving a relatively small food reward immediately, or receiving a larger reward but having to wait for it.

Many of the apes became emotional when they had to wait or took a gamble that did not pay off.

The researchers also found differences in the way the two species responded to the games; chimps were more willing to take risks, and also more patient than bonobos.

“These differences might be reflected in differences in how the apes choose to forage in the wild,” said Yale University researcher Alexandra Rosati. Chimpanzees are more likely to engage in risky strategies like hunting.

(Liberty Times)










1. bland adj.

平淡無味的 (ping2 dan4 wu2 wei4 de5)

例: Not all vegetarian dishes are bland.


2. tantrum n.

發脾氣 (fa1 pi2 qi4)

例: Ignore him. He always throws a tantrum in the office for no reason.


3. forage v.

翻找;搜尋食物 (fan1 zhao3; sou1 xun2 shi2 wu4)

例: The homeless man foraged through garbage cans for something to eat.


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