“Seriously, folks, get your shotguns,” said Jonathan Stein in Mother Jones. According to a new study, Santino, a 30-year-old chimpanzee in Sweden’s Furuvik Zoo, creates “stockpiles of weapons”—okay, stones—to throw at zoo visitors, even hacking off throwable discs of his concrete enclosure. What his “weaponizing” shows is that chimps can plan for the future.
To be fair, said Coco Ballantyne in Scientific American, Santino’s rock-throwing started after tourists began laughing at his daily 11 a.m. “macho display” of dominance—the rock missiles would make the crowd disperse. But his premeditated, morning rock gathering has become “increasingly sophisticated,” and does seem to suggest that he can calmly prepare for a future agitated state.
The Santino case is “one of the more elaborate examples of contingency planning in the animal world,” said David Brown in The Washington Post. But some primatologists question its “novelty,” noting that several studies have shown some level of advance planning in chimps. Either way, Santino’s throwing days may be over—the zoo castrated him last fall, to cut his testosterone level.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert are accidentally having a serious debate on ISIS
- Why colleges' insistence on 'diversity' actually fails disadvantaged kids
- 10 things you need to know today: October 1, 2014
- The dumb war in Syria will haunt Democrats' 2014 prospects
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
Subscribe to the Week