Tonight’s music video is Pomplamoose performing the Beatles “Come Together.”
Chimpanzees in Zambian animal sanctuary have begun putting blades of grass in their ears, an apparent simian fashion trend with no purpose beyond aesthetic enhancement. From The Dodo:
The ‘grass-in-ear behavior,’ as scientists have termed it, seems to be one of the first times that chimpanzees have created a tradition with no discernible purpose — a primate fashion statement, in other words. There’s no doubt that chimpanzees have culture, as different chimp groups will use unique tools: to groom, to crack open nuts, to fish for termites.
[…] ‘Our observation is quite unique in the sense that nothing seems to be communicated by it,’ says study author Edwin van Leeuwen, a primate expert at the Max Planck Institute in The Netherlands. To figure out if this was really a tradition, and not just chimpanzees sticking grass in their ears at random, van Leeuwen and his colleagues spent a year observing four chimp groups in Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust, a sanctuary in Zambia. Only one troop performed the grass-in-ear behavior, although all of the chimps lived in the same grassy territory. There’s no genetic or ecological factors, the scientists believe, that would account for this behavior — only culture.
[…] The cultural quirk first popped up in 2010 when a chimpanzee, named Julie, was spotted sporting a long-stemmed piece of grass. Julie acted as a role model for the other 11 chimpanzees in her group. As van Leeuwen points out, ‘everybody can wear rings in their ears, but you just have to come to the idea to do it.’ The seven chimps who adopted the grass-in-ear tradition — and who would continue it after Julie’s death — repeatedly inspected her behavior before trying it themselves.
- Please review our About Us page if you need a refresher on site rules, and
- We encourage you to use our flag system — if you see an abusive comment, user or post, please flag it rather than replying. We review every flag and take the best action available to us.
- If you have questions or concerns about Firedoglake-specific issues, please limit their discussion to Watercooler posts rather than starting new posts or making off-topic comments in others. But remember,
- Firedoglake editors and staff are not allowed to comment on any moderation decisions.
The Watercooler is an open conversation. Ask questions, share some links, and tell me about your weekend!