Press Esc to close
Monday 26 June 2017
News updated at 7:09 PM IST

Watch: Chimp filmed cleaning dead son's teeth for first time

London, Mar 20, 2017, PTI 14:19 IST
However, never before has a chimp been observed tending to the teeth of a deceased member of their group. Image for representation.

However, never before has a chimp been observed tending to the teeth of a deceased member of their group. Image for representation.

For the first time, chimpanzees have been observed using tools to clean the corpse of a deceased group member, scientists say.

Researchers, including those from University of St Andrews in the UK, observed a female chimpanzee sitting down near the dead body of a young male, selecting a firm stem of grass, and intently removing debris from his teeth.

They suggest that the isolated activities of the chimp in the video might offer some clues as to how mortuary rituals began in humans.

Chimps have been observed cleaning one another's teeth on multiple occasions. Besides serving as a hygienic practice, it is believed to be a bonding ritual as it typically occurs between those that are seen to be close to one another.

However, never before has a chimp been observed tending to the teeth of a deceased member of their group.

The chimps involved were living in the wild at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust in Zambia and the deceased young male chimp appeared to have died due to a lung infection.

The deceased chimp had been orphaned four years before and was subsequently adopted by the older female, 'Phys.org' reported.

Prior to the teeth cleaning, the older chimp had cradled her adopted son's head in her hands as she examined his teeth.

It is impossible to know the motives of the older chimp, though it is easy to apply human emotions to the scene shown in the video - it looks like a grieving mother, researchers said.
The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed, on his arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Washington...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed, on his arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Washington...

Senior CRPF and police officers carrying the coffin of SI/GD Sahab Shukla after wreath laying...

Senior CRPF and police officers carrying the coffin of SI/GD Sahab Shukla after wreath laying...

Senior BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari stages 'satyagraha' against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara...

Senior BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari stages 'satyagraha' against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara...

Hindu devotees pull the 'Rath' or the chariot of Lord Jagannath, during the annual Rath Yatra, or...

Hindu devotees pull the 'Rath' or the chariot of Lord Jagannath, during the annual Rath Yatra, or...

Acclaimed Odissi dancer Dona Ganguly's troupe performs during 46th ISKCON Rath Yatra of Lord...

Acclaimed Odissi dancer Dona Ganguly's troupe performs during 46th ISKCON Rath Yatra of Lord...

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory in the final match against Germany's Alexander...

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory in the final match against Germany's Alexander...

French Air Force Patrouille de France air demonstration teams take part in flying display during...

French Air Force Patrouille de France air demonstration teams take part in flying display during...

Penitents and costaleros of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno brotherhood carry a float bearing...

Penitents and costaleros of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno brotherhood carry a float bearing...

Over 10,000 Chinese yoga enthusiasts in Wuxi, a city near Shanghai in eastern China, took part in...

Over 10,000 Chinese yoga enthusiasts in Wuxi, a city near Shanghai in eastern China, took part in...

A student band dressed as Star Wars storm troopers hold their instruments during the walk...

A student band dressed as Star Wars storm troopers hold their instruments during the walk...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.