Posted by: r.m. | October 7, 2008

our cousins, ourselves

we’re like our magnificent cousins in more than just our physiology. but also our behavior.

seems that ape-behavior is still prevalent in our species… and particularly so among our alpha-males (and some females who choose to imitiate (ape) the alpha-males)

check it out -> ‘preening bosses mimic behavior of monkeys’



  1. I loved this article. It is true in so many ways! This just shows we are not above our “cousins”. Maybe male preening truly is “imprinted on our genes”.

  2. A very nice study, somehow predictable results though. Human behaviour is very similar to animal behaviour in many aspects. Perhaps the article was concentrating more on certain details.. But human instincts and behavior is at its base very close to animals’ behavior, and especially apes. Even outside the office, females try to attract males with their body shape (denoting feritility and beauty), neatness and so on.. Males on the other hand try to show power (the ability to “hunt”). Entering community and society has shifted the behavior of humans but not enough to erase their instinctive behavior.

  3. That’s a very interesting research in my opinion, and they were very right to assume a relationship between the behavior of a predominant male, and a chimpanzee. Well, I think this behavior would be to establish dominance over others, especially other males, and if I would guess, I would say it’s a typical “Alfa male” behavior, where males try to be strong, flaunt their muscles, and mark their territories to “win” the woman in their tribe. And I also think it’s imprinted in the Y chromosome of all species (humans mostly hehe).

  4. Quite interesting or perhaps, entertaining.
    Their are definitely still some reminiscences within us from our evolutionary past, but it’s hard to believe things are that simple. It’s not because some bosses happen to wear dark suits with colorful shirts that we can compare them with our “cousins” and their natural coats. Scientists, especially magazine writers, usually have this sad tendency to create appealing links between facts and mere observations. It’s probably an ingenious way to attract readers, but it’s not scientific enough.

    However, I must say that our behaviors as humans are still highly impregnated with instinctive and bestial impulses, and this is a fact no one can deny.
    Aren’t we after all, “political animals”, as Aristotle once said? Here comes all our diversity, certain people are more one than the other…

  5. Marc
    You are quite correct: certain aspects of the study bordered closer to the entertaining than to the strictly objective scientific examination. (Of course, this raises the question: what is a truly objective scientific examination? And what is missed by such an examination? But I digress.)

    There are numerous ways in which our behaviors – as homo sapiens – are quite close to that of our relatives (the chimps or the bonobos).

    Check this out – “De Waal, professor of primate behavior, described the uncanny similarities between human and ape behavior… Specifically..shared behaviors such as social reciprocity, communication and cultural transmission” Here’s the article in question:

    Okay, back to work for me
    -Rania Masri

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