“The Only One Who Makes Laugh”

A new study concludes that humor is part of the lives of orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas.

For decades, primatologists such as Jane Godall have argued that apes and chimpanzees, for example, both engage in teasing behavior. But now, for the first time, a study has analyzed this phenomenon in detail in four species of primates. “It’s about animals closely related to us “Humans who also participate in social activities laugh and show sophisticated understanding of others’ behavior,” he says. Isabelle Laumer, one of the researchers who led this work. “This phenomenon can be studied Hints to understand the origin of humor“Add the experts who prepared this study.

Study discovers 18 types of jokes among orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas

Research has focused on analyzing spontaneous social interactions in groups Orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas Who live in various zoos around the world. Overall, according to experts, 18 different joke dynamics identified, In most cases, jokes revolve around behaviors designed to provoke a reaction in other people or, at least, get their attention. “It is quite common to see teasing monkeys repeatedly waving a body part to attract attention, hitting or teasing others. even pulling her hair To laugh,” he says. Erica CartmillOne of the primatologists who led this work.

bullying and children’s pranks

Intimate humor essentially involves being spontaneous, entertaining, and “conversational.”slightly disturbing or provocative“. According to experts, this is exactly the same as it happens between humans. But with one difference. “Only the one who makes jokes laughs,” the experts explain. teasing among apes is one-sidedmost of the time come from the same provocateur and rarely reciprocate“, explains the primatologist. That is, only the one who made the joke laughs. Something similar, paradoxically, also happens when humans tell bad jokes, such as, for example, about ‘brother-in-law’.

“Teaching among apes is one-sided, most of the time it comes from the same instigator and it is rarely reciprocated.”

The authors of this analysis point to a similarity between The mischiefs of these primates and the mischiefs done by children In the first months of their life. “From an evolutionary perspective, this suggests that both teasing and the cognitive ability to execute it can exist last great common ancestor which we share with other great primates, who lived about 13 million years ago,” Laumer comments in this regard. “This study gives some clues to continue studying the origins and development of multidimensional behavior such as humor“The scientist concluded.

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