Rock-Throwing Chimp 'Proves' He Can Plan

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2009 7:22 PM CDT
Rock-Throwing Chimp 'Proves' He Can Plan
This undated picture made avalable Monday, March 9, 2009, shows some of the stones which Santino the chimpanzee used to hurl at visitors at Furuvik zoo in Sweden.   (AP Photo/Neurology/PA)

A male chimp in Sweden has stirred excitement by storing a cache of stones to hurl at visitors, the BBC reports. Santino, a chimpanzee in a zoo north of Stockholm, proves that animals can prepare for future events, said scientist Mathias Osvath. "These observations convincingly show that our fellow apes do consider the future in a very complex way," he told the AP.

Osvath began studying Santino after zoo staff found his stone supplies 12 years ago. What impressed Osvath most—beyond Santino's "highly developed consciousness"—was his tapping of water-weakened portions of concrete to pull out pieces of rock. Other studies have suggested consciousness in apes, but "now we have this spontaneous behaviour, which is always in some sense better evidence," said Osvath.
(More chimpanzees stories.)

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