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The Penultimate CuriosityHow Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions$
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Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747956.001.0001

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Primate Parallels

Primate Parallels

(p.35) Chapter Five Primate Parallels
The Penultimate Curiosity

Roger Wagner

Andrew Briggs

Oxford University Press

This chapter first describes studies of primates by Jane Goodall (chimpanzees) and Dian Fossey (gorillas). Goodall observed that when a chimpanzee is suddenly frightened, he frequently reaches to touch or embrace a chimpanzee nearby. Chimpanzees also greeted one another using a variety of gestures which reflected their different position within the social group. The complex relationships between chimpanzees described by Goodall were paralleled in those of the silverback gorilla groups observed by Dian Fossey. The remainder of the chapter discusses studies confirming that chimpanzees possessed a ‘theory of mind’, i.e., they could put themselves in someone else’s position, imagine their intentions, and how they might fulfil them; primate tool use; and evidence of primate spirituality.

Keywords:   primates, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, chimpanzees, gorillas, social communication, social interaction, rouge test, self-awareness

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