A Look In the Mirror
Here’s some more Science for you this week, but it’s bloody Science.
I will address, again, the common misconception people have about apes. They think gorillas are vicious brutes and chimpanzees are cute and cuddly. The reality is exactly the opposite. Blame the movies for this misunderstanding, as much as anything. How many “killer ape” movies were made back in the day? And the ape in question was always a gorilla. (Actually it was a guy in a gorilla suit—Bob Burns, more often than not—but you know what I mean.) Gorillas are bigger, thus they made for better movie villains. In reality gorillas are vegetarians who rarely inflict injury on each other, even when the big males fight. They pose no threat to humans, either. Chimpanzees, on the other hand, practice infanticide, cannibalism, and murder; they kill just for the sake of killing. That they are our closest genetic relative is not insignificant, either. They are just like US.
In Senegal, Africa, a chimpanzee named Foudouko was an awful bastard. He ruled his tribe with an iron fist. Then he was ostracized. Then the other males in the group ganged up on him and killed him. The details are horrifying. And after they killed him, they left him to rot. And they ate parts of him. These are the animals most like us in the entire world. Comforting thought, isn’t it.