Science

Meet the puzzle-solving gorillas shedding light on how speech evolved

There are many ways that our great ape relatives can remind us of ourselves: through their anatomy, cleverness and social relationships, for instance. But never has the resemblance been so striking for me as today, when I watch gorillas carrying out a very human past-time: solving puzzles.

The gorillas in question live at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent in the UK. The task involves moving a hazelnut treat down a vertical maze using sticks or the inbuilt cogs, until it is released at the bottom. It is very similar to a game I loved as a child, called Downfall, …

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