Iowa State chimp researcher reviews 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'

September 8, 2011 By Jill Pruetz and Mike Ferlazzo

The new motion picture "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" has been a box office blockbuster since it opened last month. One moviegoer who may have a more keen interest than most in the way chimpanzee intelligence was portrayed by Hollywood is Jill Pruetz, an Iowa State University professor of anthropology and world renowned chimpanzee researcher.

Pruetz earned worldwide acclaim for her studies on the behavior of savanna at the Fongoli research site in Senegal -- particularly the chimps' use of spear-shaped tools in hunting, and their reaction to wildfires.

She enjoyed "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which builds the plot around the near human actions of one chimpanzee, Caesar. Pruetz now provides her review of the movie, as well as insight on what is fact and fiction about the chimps' portrayal and behavior.

Explore further: Wild chimps have near human understanding of fire, study says

Related Stories

Chimps dance in the face of fire

January 19, 2010

( -- Unusual behaviors have been observed in wild chimpanzees in West Africa in the face of grass fires. The chimps did not panic or flee, and some made ritualistic displays that suggest they understand fire and ...

Chimps found to be cooperative

March 4, 2006

In a series of experiments, researchers in Germany have found that chimpanzees work cooperatively to help each other accomplish a goal.

Genetics helps to crack down on chimpanzee smuggling

January 21, 2010

The population of chimpanzees across western Africa has decreased by 75% in the past 30 years, due in part to widespread chimp hunting. New strategies are needed to curb this illegal activity. Research published in BioMed ...

Study: Chimps don't care about friends

October 26, 2005

University of California-Los Angeles scientists say helping others is apparently a uniquely human habit -- or, at least, not a habit shared by chimpanzees.

Recommended for you

New analysis of big data sheds light on cell functions

October 26, 2016

Researchers have developed a new way of obtaining useful information from big data in biology to better understand—and predict—what goes on inside a cell. Using genome-scale models, researchers were able to integrate ...

Researchers identify genes for 'Help me!' aromas from corn

October 25, 2016

When corn seedlings are nibbled by caterpillars, they defend themselves by releasing scent compounds that attract parasitic wasps whose larvae consume the caterpillar—but not all corn varieties are equally effective at ...

Structure of key DNA replication protein solved

October 25, 2016

A research team led by scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) has solved the three-dimensional structure of a key protein that helps damaged cellular DNA repair itself. Investigators say that knowing ...

Genome editing: Efficient CRISPR experiments in mouse cells

October 25, 2016

In order to use the CRISPR-Cas9 system to cut genes, researchers must design an RNA sequence that matches the DNA of the target gene. Most genes have hundreds of such sequences, with varying activity and uniqueness in the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.