Friday 27 March 2020

Scientific sensation: chimp able to read The Sun

Oxford (dpo) - Are our animal relatives more intelligent than we had previously thought? Scientists from the Oxford Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology have now succeeded in teaching a 15-year-old chimp how to read and understand The Sun. Having read the paper, Coco the chimp, who takes about 30 minutes for a complete edition, is able to correctly reproduce the content of every single piece of news. PETA activists have been criticizing this experiment as animal torture.

“Up to now, we were convinced that chimps cannot read”, primatologist Lydia Luncz explained, “All trials including children’s books, texts written in Simple English and even other newspapers failed. However, the unique combination of short words and emotional imagery we find in The Sun enables the chimp’s brain to cognitively process written information, although it is of course built in a much simpler way than a human brain.”
Coco can find his way around too
With the help of sign language, Coco can correctly reproduce all of the celebrity rumours and inflammatory articles on migrants, as well as wild speculations about the coronavirus.
However, not everyone is quite as enthusiastic about Coco’s amazing abilities. Activists from animal rights organisation PETA have been demanding an immediate stop to the cynical experiment. They classify the test as an exceptionally severe case of animal torture – unforeseeable long-term psychological effects included.
Primatologists from the Oxford Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology have been able to dispel these concerns though: test chimp Coco has been refusing to read The Sun for a few days anyway. He has unmistakably signalled that the paper is no longer meeting his intellectual needs as the articles use the same thinking pattern time and again and incidents are reported in an unnecessarily exaggerated and over-the-top style. Also, the occasional half-naked girl in the paper is decidedly not hairy enough for his taste.
According to the institute, Coco is now increasingly indulging in another favourite pastime of his: throwing his own faeces about.
ssi; picture above (M): © Paul Maguire -, picture on the right: Fotolia; first published 2018-05-28
Read the German version HERE.
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