Have you heard of bonobos? I hadn’t until recently, but I discovered this video as part of the TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design). Susan Savage-Rumbaugh works with bonobo apes who understand spoken English. Bonobos, who are slightly smaller than chimpanzees but can walk upright are shown making tools, drawing symbols to communicate, and playing Pac-Man — all tasks learned just by watching.

This is a fascinating, funny introduction to a species possessing one of the broadest and warmest smiles I’ve ever seen.

4 Responses to "Apes That Play Pac-Man"

  1. colleen

    January 24, 2008

    The first time I googled bonobo and hit “image” I got a photo of a bonobo female self-pleasuring herself. I think I had seen a story about them and was curious to learn more, which this video certainly provides. It’s fascinating! I’m pretty sure my friend Mara has a poem about them.

  2. sunny

    January 24, 2008

    I’ve since learned about the bonobo’s sex life, and I would venture to say that it probably contributes to the smiles on their faces.

  3. Helene

    February 2, 2008

    I just saw the video on bonobo’s and was fascinated.
    I would like to have been a researcher like Susan in another life.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  4. sunny

    February 2, 2008

    I, too, would have liked to be a researcher like Susan. Too bad we have to choose between all of the things that we’re drawn to!

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