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Smart apes

Duration: 03:20

It was not only the creativity to manipulate tools, but also the imagination to manipulate others that pushed forward intelligence. Back in Gombe in Tanzania, we see that it’s not only human children who learn to get their own way. With baby twins, Galahad’s family rest a lot, but Galahad is bored with all that hanging around and wants to be where the action is. He’s heard the group over there and he’s just itching to go and join them - but he wants his mum to go too - and he’s discovered exactly how to get his way. He can read her mind perfectly. He knows if he carries off one of the twins, his mum is bound to follow him wherever he goes. By understanding her point of view and second guessing her reaction he gets the result he wants. Now they are all heading for the group where the big boys are. The plan worked out perfectly. He’s now in striking distance of the males and mum is close behind. The males like to hang-out together. Grooming, like a good heart-to-heart, strengthens friendships - and in the volatile world of chimp politics making friends can help you get to the top. But the current leader, Frodo, isn’t here. He’s unusual in that he doesn’t really care about being popular. He simply relies on basic intimidation tactics. Frodo likes to use the element of surprise, so everyone’s on tenterhooks wondering if and when he’ll show up. And when he comes, his arrival sends the group into frenzy. When all calms once more, the group gives “pant grunts” to appease their leader. For now, the internal politics have been sorted out.

Available since: Wed 27 Jan 2010

Credits

Key talent
Charlotte UHLENBROEK
Key talent
Bernard WALTON
Director
Bernard WALTON
Producer
Phil HURRELL
Producer
Bernard WALTON
Camera Operator
Martyn COLBECK
Camera Operator
Richard GANNICLIFFT
Camera Operator
Martin SAUNDERS
Camera Operator
William WALLAUER
Camera Operator
John WATERS

This clip is from

Cousins APES

Last programme of a three part series on primates.Charlotte UHLENBROEK introduces us to our closest Cousins - the Apes.

First broadcast: 30 Aug 2000

Image for APES Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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