Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gorillas May Make Teachers Obsolete

In a remarkable experiment, biologists have documented gorillas in the wild are not only good at using simple tools, like a stick to poke in a swampy pool of water to check its depth, but in more sophisticated ways when given more sophisticated tools.Recently, in the Republic of Congo, scientists saw gorillas using objects in the wild as tools. So, scientists secretly placed more complex objects in plain view of the great apes and the results were shocking."This is a truly an astounding discovery," said Professor Morris Sleevebaker. "The great apes knew what to do with thermometers, can openers, flashlights and when they didn't know exactly what to do with them, they improvised." Digital visual documentation soon will be released, showing an alpha-male great ape taking the temperature of his mate using a rectal thermometer, which is just one of the fascinating acts. In another scene, a young gorilla builds a replica of the Taj Mahal using an erector set. Scientists' observations were made in a marshy clearing called Mbeli Baia, located in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. It began, they said, with a great ape picking up a revolver and some bullets and not knowing the relationship between the objects. A month later, the same gorilla had not only figured out that the bullets were meant to go into the gun barrel, he had also shot three observing scientists at forty paces. The scientists lived to be astounded."I never knew what hit me," said Roberto Pileplant, one of the victims. "Good thing we didn't give the ape a shotgun.