Report Chimpanzees recognise one another from their butts

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    It is important for social animals to be able to recognise one another quickly. Humans are able to recognise each other immediately from their faces. Faces are also important for chimpanzees, but a new study by neuropsychologist Mariska Kret in PLOS ONE shows that the animals' buttocks also play a role.

    To date little is known about how humans and chimpanzees process information about faces and buttocks. The key question that Kret explored was whether chimpanzees process rear ends just as efficiently as we process faces. This does appear to be the case. The findings can be found in PLOS ONE on 30 November.

    Like the face in humans, chimpanzees derive important information about identity, attractiveness and health from the buttocks. When females are in their monthly fertile period, the parts around the anus and vagina dilate and become dark pink in colour. For chimpanzees, the buttocks are therefore very important in recognising one another at a single glance.

    Recognising a person at a glance translates in psychology to the well-known 'face inversion effect' (see image). Faces are recognised by the brain faster than other objects, but this does not apply if the faces are inverted. When people see an object in a photo, for example a house, they recognise it just as rapidly (or slowly) whether or not the object is inverted.

    Read more here. (PhysOrg)

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