To the curious mind…
I was in a pensive mood today and came across this video of a chimpanzee using a stick to attack and take down a flying drone.
This got me thinking deeper about a number of topics, particularly in relation to the complexity and intelligence of our closest living relatives, who we share up to 98.8% of the same DNA with.
Prior to the drone being hit with a stick, it would have been flying around the vicinity where the chimps observed its presence. Knowing this may have posed as a potential threat, and possibly out of arms reach, the chimp had the foresight to plan the future attack and grab a stick to prepare for battle. The ability to plan ahead was once thought to be a trait exclusive to humans, with many well documented cases showing that some apes (chimps, gorillas, orangutans) can indeed plan ahead of time! Funny to watch the video again and see the chimp at the top of the tree waiting for the drone to pass by!
Knowing they were unable to reach the drone with their arms, they creatively used a suitable tool in their environment, in this case a tree branch, to help them achieve their goal of taking down the immediate threat. Tool use throughout the animal kingdom, in-particularly within chimpanzees, has been well documented it’s also believed to have played a critical role throughout human evolution.
Display of Aggression
Watching the video closely, it’s easy to see how visibly angry the chimpanzee gets when approaching and striking the drone with the stick. Some researchers have suggested this is a natural instinct in response to increasing the chances of passing your genes on to the next generation. Interestingly, chimpanzees are far more aggressive than their closest and almost identical cousins, bonobos, who peacefully deal with conflict through sex. Bonobos live by the saying, “make love, not war”.
Mission accomplished! The drone has been ‘killed’ and lies dead on the ground. It’s interesting to observe how the chimpanzee takes time to stop and be curious about its latest victim. Prodding, poking, sniffing, tasting, and looking intently at the drone, it wonders what the hell it is!
In our busy lives with endless technology and ‘smart phone’ distractions, maybe there’s a lesson or two to be learned from our chimpanzees ancestors by taking the time to be more mindful and curious!