Lincoln Park Zoo Researcher Studies Link Between Chimp Status And Learning

CHICAGO (CBS) — A researcher is finding creativity comes from the bottom up when it comes to chimps: at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Dr Lydia Hopper says it wasn’t Hank the alpha but lowly Optimus Primus who figured out that he could trade 6 inches of pvc pipe for carrots, or walk a little further and trade for grapes.

β€œHe is pretty low-ranking in the group and data from wild chimpanzees suggests that subordinate or low-ranking individuals should be the ones that innovate first because they have to figure out new ways of getting food,” said Dr. Hopper.

Dr Hopper who’s studying learning differences between species says even though Optimus figured how to barter for food, it didn’t seem to boost his status in Hank’s group of six chimps at Lincoln park Zoo.

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