In an experiment, researchers aimed to determine the evolutionary difference between a chimpanzee and a human. They focused on a specific gene called FOXP2, known to play a role in language development. By comparing the genome sequences of both species, they found that while 98% of the genes were identical, FOXP2 showed distinct variations. The changes in FOXP2 likely contributed to the unique language abilities observed in humans. This discovery highlights the potential influence of a single gene in the evolutionary divergence between chimpanzees and humans, shedding light on the origins of human language development..
Kellogg and his wife brought a seven-and-a-half-month-old female chimpanzee, Gua, to their Florida home with the intention of observing the similarities and differences in development between Gua and their human son, Donald. At the time their son, Donald was ten months old
Gua was treated like an infant in every detail; she was dressed in napkins and later in rompers, wheeled in a carriage, sat in a high chair, and slept in a bed. The Kelloggs kissed her goodnight every evening. No special effort was made to teach her spectacular stunts but rather to expose her to the same kinds of experiences a human baby would have. The experiment was carried on for nine months with careful day-by-day observations, films, and tests.
Gua displayed many human-like behaviors; she wore shoes and walked upright, ate with a spoon and drank from a glass, and imitated human gestures, acquired the ability to open doors. In some ways she surpassed Donald – especially in the motor skills of climbing and jumping, – but in other ways she lagged behind him developmentally.
Gua also quickly learned to respond to a total of ninety-five words and phrases such as ‘kiss Donald’, ‘shake hands’, and ‘show me your nose’. However, she never could learn to utter words or phrases beyond those which communicated her immediate wishes through grunts and squeals. Her toilet training lagged behind that of the boy significantly.
It became evident by the end of the experiment that Gua was falling behind the boy, particularly ‘in the matter of intellectual adaptation to human demands’. The early superiority is attributed to the fact that anthropoids in general mature earlier than humans. A monkey reaches puberty at about four years, whereas humans reach puberty between twelve and fourteen on average, with girls generally reaching puberty before boys.
It is interesting to note that even though animals can be trained and socialized to a certain extent, there are still limits to how much they can imitate human behavior. This was evident from the experiment conducted by Dr. Kellogg and his wife, where it was shown that while an animal can learn to interact with humans, there are some things that will always remain beyond their understanding.
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In an experiment conducted by Dr. Kellogg and his wife, they brought a seven-and-a-half-month-old female chimpanzee named Gua into their home to observe her development alongside their ten-month-old son, Donald. The purpose was to compare the similarities and differences in their growth. Gua was treated like an infant, being dressed in napkins and later in rompers, and experiencing the same daily routines as a human baby. The experiment lasted for nine months, during which Gua displayed many human-like behaviors such as walking upright, eating with a spoon, and imitating human gestures.
Although Gua showed impressive motor skills in climbing and jumping, she fell behind Donald in other developmental areas. She quickly learned to respond to words and phrases but could not form them herself beyond grunts and squeals. Moreover, it became evident that Gua was struggling in terms of intellectual adaptation to human demands. This may be attributed to the fact that anthropoids mature earlier than humans, with monkeys reaching puberty at about four years compared to twelve to fourteen years in humans.
This experiment highlights the limits of animals in imitating human behavior, showcasing that while they can be trained and socialized to some extent, there are certain aspects that will always remain beyond their understanding.
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