Study: Animals are more intelligent and more social than earlier perceived

According to a Duke University study which adds to the increasing evidence that animals - especially primates - are more intelligent and more social than what humans have perceived them to be, it has been found that apes have the ability to plan ahead, share, as well as show empathy.

With advances technologies and neuroscience having led to a two-fold increase in the number of ape and monkey cognition studies in recent years, researchers have now discovered that baboons have the knack of distinguishing between written words and gibberish; while monkeys have the ability to do multiplication.

In addition, apes are seemingly capable of delaying instant gratification for a much longer period than a human child can, and they also make war and peace with one another. In fact, chimps apparently also console each other; and try to comfort a disturbed companion by putting their arms around him.

With the cognition studies of apes making the research in this direction a hot scientific field, it has recently been revealed by scientists mapping the DNA of the bonobo ape that, quite like the chimp, bonobos are just about 1.3 percent different from human beings.

Noting that "every year we discover things that we thought they could not do," Josep Call - director of the primate research center at Germany's Max Planck Institute - said that one of the interesting studies carried out by him showed that apes can also set goals and follow through with them!