Ticking off

Charlotte Uhlenbroek tells Jonathan Scott how chimps react to her and other researchers. The chimps seem to be aware that researchers are creatures in the forest who spend a lot of time following them around, yet they treat them as part of the furniture. She thinks that chimps probably considers the researchers to be really boring with nothing better to do than traipse about after them, gazing at them. As far as they are concerned, the researchers never eat, sleep, or do anything interesting. The chimps probably feel sorry for them. Charlotte and Jonathan watch as a chain of chimps begin grooming each other, removing the ticks that come out of the grass and into their long hair. The grooming has two functions: it helps individuals to bond but it also keep their skin clean. If a chimp has been away from the group for a while it may get lots of ticks and the rest of the chimps will be quite eager to groom it because it is carrying quite a big meal. The chimps have a prehensile lower lip for picking off the ticks, and they also have big canines which they rarely use. But if they do have a big battle they can inflict some horrendous wounds on each other.

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterJonathan Scott
PresenterRobin Hellier
Camera OperatorChris Openshaw
Camera OperatorWilliam Wallauer

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