Female chimps play with 'dolls' | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Female chimps play with 'dolls'

Youngsters mimic mothering by cradling sticks

12:25pm, December 20, 2010

Deep in a Ugandan forest, Betsy Wetsy has gone wild.

A new study finds that young females in one group of African chimpanzees use sticks as dolls more than their male peers do, often treating pieces of wood like a mother chimp caring for an infant. In human cultures around the world, girls play with dolls and pretend that the toys are babies far more than boys do.

Ape observations, collected over 14 years of field work with the Kanyawara chimp community in Kibale National Park, provide the first evidence of a nonhuman animal in the wild that exhibits sex differences in how it plays, two primat

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content