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Chimpanzees Recognize Each Other Through Their Butts

Dec 13, 2016 09:38 AM EST
The tender way a chimpanzee was captured to care for its dead son has touched the hearts of people worldwide.
(Photo : Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Scientists have discovered that chimpanzees have an interesting ability to recognize not only faces but also each other's butts. The talents and abilities of many primate species have been measured by how well they are able to perform human skills. However, this new finding is a skill that not many humans can and will do. Though face recognition has been recorded, tested, and studied in animals for a very long time, this is one of the first major breakthroughs about it.

Discover Magazine reported about the abilities of many primates to recognize their own faces in mirrors. Not only that, they are very curious animals to the point that they usually examine parts of their body they don't normally have sight of, like their backs, buttocks, the back of their heads, and many more. This is an indication that primates are very intelligent beings compared with other animals.

According to a report from Live Science, chimpanzees have the ability to recognize butts just how well they could recall human faces. They have found that they use the same method of familiarizing a human face, with how they familiarize their neighbor's bottoms. As discussed by the study, the experiment involved photos of faces, buttocks and other parts of the body not only of chimpanzees but also of humans. To test their recognition, the chimpanzees are shown a certain image and is tasked to tap from the list its original image.  

A report from Washington Post has indicated that this particular skill is very important for animals to find out if another is of their kin or not. It is discussed from a study from Michigan State University that for many primates, the father do not mate with their female children and female children don't mate with their male siblings. This is a characteristic similar to humans and chimpanzees use not only the face but also the buttocks for them to definitively know that a male or female counterpart is not an immediate relative. 

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