Do Humans and Monkeys think Alike?

Do Humans and Monkeys think Alike?

Although monkeys are perceived to be more primitive than apes and chimpanzees, they can think and make decisions like humans do, albeit with some training. One such trait is the ability to recognise themselves in the mirror, which is a trait few animals possess.  Monkeys, like humans, can perceive faces similarly.  The process faces holistically through facial features.  The other similarity is that monkeys have the powers of recollection just like humans. The trait was discovered through a test where a monkey was presented with three boxes drawn on a grid. After a while, they were shown the same network with only one, and the monkey drew the coordinates where the missing ones were. Monkeys also make irrational choices just like humans do.  This was seen when monkeys were presented with an assortment of fruits and vegetables where they chose what was appealing to them even when it had little nutritive value.

Decision making is another trait that is similar to humans in that monkeys can change their minds in different situations.  A test was done where scientists tracked the neurological activity before giving a command in a particular situation.  They found a similarity in the way humans change their minds and how the monkeys do. Also, monkeys have distinctive sounds in their language depending on where they are located. They have different alarm calls for different animals and predators. Another trait is that monkeys have a level of peripheral perception that is similar to humans. Such ability helps to sidestep obstacles and impending dangers long before they happen.  Through a test called visual masking, a monkey used to touch screen computer to indicate where an object was even when they were masked.


Among the Wild Chimpanzees

Jane Goodall observed some behaviours that made her conclude that chimpanzees and humans shared a common ancestor. The chimpanzees made simple tools and also used them to obtain food such as termites from a nest.  They also displayed affectionate behaviours such as kissing, hugging and embraced one another for comfort.  They developed adolescent and motherhood bonds which manifested during nursing and protectiveness of their young ones. When threatened, the adults fought savagely, inflicted terrible injuries and killed their perceived enemies.  They also shared their food, groomed each other and male rose to the occasion to protect the females when faced by an attack or a threat.


Bald Uakari

Bald Uakari (Cacajao calvus) is a type of a monkey found in the Amazon River Basin of South America. The Bald Uakaris have beautiful bald heads, red faces and long shaggy coats varying from red-brown to orange. They are social animals and move in troops during the day, and at night, they sleep in high tree canopies.  They consume fruits, nuts, and insects. They have a low population growth as female mature in three years while the males take six years.  Their survival is threatened by the locals who hunt them for food and also destroy their habitation as a result of deforestation.

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