It’s already been well-documented how apes, particularly chimpanzees, resemble human society closely enough that it’s commonly accepted that a primate must have been our common ancestor.
However, sometimes we just don’t realize how close the resemblance is until we see something unexpected.
A video released by the Tai Chimpanzee Project shows just such a moment as it features a touching mother-and-child scene that every parent in the world will recognize. The chimpanzee mom is basically playing airplane with her child, and even puts some “turbulence” in it!
The video starts with the kid chimpanzee being lifted up on the air thanks to the mom’s legs. Then, while securely holding the kid chimpanzee’s arms, the mom starts kicking the air up and down while shaking her kid.
It’s something that most parents would have done with their kid and we know just how fun it can be with the child often laughing and shouting “Again!” with the parent obliging even if their legs are already burning with the strain.
The chimpanzee kid is no different and although it can’t really shout out in glee, it’s obvious that both mother and child are enjoying themselves. The one behind the camera even gives a small chuckle at the scene, proving that it’s something that we can easily relate to.
This goes on for several seconds until finally, the mom pulls her child toward her and gives it a big hug. Awww! It’s just something that will melt your heart and make you want to grab your kid and start playing with them!
Chimpanzee young take thirteen years to become an adult, so that means mothers get to spend a long time with their offspring. Considering that the average chimpanzee lifespan is 50 years, that’s a very long nurturing period indeed.
This long mother-child bond is unusual in the animal kingdom. Baby sea turtles, for example, don’t even get to see their mothers and are left to fend for themselves as soon as they’re hatched. Compared to that, one can almost imagine young chimpanzees as being like that guy who still lives in the basement of his parent’s house.
In any case, we can thank the Tai Chimpanzee Project for this amazing footage.Their skilled team includes Ph. D.
holders, students, international research assistants, and researchers.They just observe primates in their natural habitats so that they can document the inner workings of chimpanzee society with as little interference as possible. Occasionally, they manage to capture little gems like this one.
The project sees them overseeing 100 animals scattered over three different, but neighboring, habitats. It’s a lot of area to cover but the dedicated people on the team are determined to closely study how chimpanzee society reacts to the different stimuli around them.
And that’s just as well so that we can hopefully bear witness to even more touching moments that remind us just how related humans are with these creatures. Who knows, maybe we’ll catch some of them playing tag next time?