What can humans learn about ourselves from studying chimpanzees? Primatologist Frans de Waal has spent almost three decades studying the behavior and intelligence of chimpanzees. Now, he’s focused on their emotional lives–and he’s found primates and people aren’t so different in how they react to circumstances and each other. Jeffrey Brown talks to de Waal about the implications of his findings.
Imagine that an alien species landed on Earth and, through their mere presence, those aliens caused our art to vanish, our music to homogenize, and our technological know-how to disappear. That is effectively what humans have been doing to our closest relatives—chimpanzees.
Recently, New Jersey became the first state to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. And now, only a week later, Hawaii has followed in its footsteps.