Chimps consider risk when crossing roads

September 6, 2006

Scottish and Japanese scientists say they've discovered chimpanzees evaluate risk when crossing roadways.

The finding, which broadens our understanding of primate cooperation, also suggests chimpanzees draw on an evolutionarily old principle of protective "socio-spatial" organization that produces flexible, adaptive, and cooperative responses by a group of individuals facing risk.

The research is reported by Kimberley Hockings and James Anderson of Scotland's University of Stirling and Tetsuro Matsuzawa at the University of Tokyo.

They say understanding how chimpanzees cross roads as a group helps shape our hypotheses about the emergence of hominoid social organization.

The study is detailed in the Sept. 5 issue of the journal Current Biology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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