Apes Act Like Big Babies, New Study Finds

We confirmed the following study’s finding way back in our younger days after a few trips to the zoo and a handful of visits by the monkey enclosure. But here’s the scientific backing, anyway: Researchers from Duke University, N.C. conducted experiments and found that apes experience frustration, impatience and regrets just like us.

The researchers visited two ape sanctuaries in the Republic of Congo and played different games with 23 chimps and 15 bonobos. In one game the apes waited longer for a larger reward, while in the other they were afforded the option to  take a risk, resulting in either a piece of cucumber (ew!) or a piece of banana (yum!). All the apes became emotional and showed “tantrum-like responses” if they were subjected to a long wait or if their risk didn’t pay off, reports BBC News.

“Vocalisations including “pout moans” and “screams”, as well as anxious scratching and banging on the bars of the enclosure” were noted by the scientists.

Lead researcher Alexandra Rosati said, “Some of the reactions look similar to a kid [shouting] ‘no, I wanted it!’”

BBC reports Dr. Rosait also explained the results of the study “suggest that the emotional component of decision-making – feelings of frustration and regret that are so fundamental to our own decisions – are intrinsic to ape society and are not uniquely human.”

These findings are published in Plos One.

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