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 Naked Chimp Reminds Us of Ourselves

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Posts : 1279
Join date : 2009-07-26
Age : 52
Location : UK

PostSubject: Naked Chimp Reminds Us of Ourselves   Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:07 am

Just found this interesting:

Quote :

Naked Chimp Reminds Us of Ourselves
(Nov. 6) -- It's been said that humans are just naked apes.

And if you don't think that's true, just take a look at Guru, a hairless 20-year-old chimpanzee who looks a lot like a bronze statue of a human come to life.

Guru has become a star at India's Mysore Zoo, where crowds gather each day to gawk at the naked wonder.

Guru, who was rescued from a circus in 2003, lost all his hair to alopecia, a condition that also affects humans. He's been undergoing treatment, but so far nothing has helped him grow hair.
And that may not matter.

"Everybody wants to see his biceps and triceps," zoo veterinarian Suresh Kumar told London's Daily Telegraph. "He looks like a human being sitting naked in front of you. So it looks amazing."

And if you think he looks strange to us ... imagine what we must look like to Guru and other chimps.

"We must look that way to them by default," said ape expert Dr. Rob Shumaker, vice president of life sciences at the Indianapolis Zoo. "We must look very unusual to chimpanzees."

But just as chimpanzees learn to deal with hairless humans, they're also very accepting of hairless chimps. In fact, they seem far more accepting of physical differences than we do.

"I've found no evidence that chimps or any other apes treat individuals differently based on appearance in any way," Shumaker said.
Chimps have a reputation for being violent or aggressive, but Shumaker says that's a little unfair.

"Chimps can be sympathetic or even empathetic with other chimpanzees," he said. Chimps and other apes can even accept members of their social groups who have glaring disabilities.

Shumaker recalled working with an orangutan that suffered from a neurological disorder that set her apart, and slowed her down -- but the other orangutans treated her no differently because of it.

"They really judged her on her personality as far as we can tell," he said. "We certainly could do better in that regard as a species."
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