Susan Savage-Rumbaugh gave an interesting talk at the TED conference. She studies the Bonobo – a close relative of the chimpanzee. She talks about their ability to learn, the fact that they have an easier time walking bipedally than chimpanzees, and has an interesting animation comparing Bonobo’s gait to that of the Australopithecus. They seem to be able to understand her words, pickup behaviors, and use tools. I was also surprised that Bonobos have the manual dexterity to use a lighter.
( Australopithecus on the left, Bonobo on the right )
The video is available here.