Animals

Just Like Us, These Chimps Splash in the River to Stay Cool

Thursday, 1 March

Things get very hot in the savanna. National Geographic explorer Jill Pruetz followed the behaviour of chimpanzees during different seasons in Senegal.

Pruetz found that the apes are more active during nights when the moon is brighter. Also, they are more active at night during dry seasons, when the lack of rain exacerbates their daytime heat stress. Nighttime activities include bathing, socialising, travelling, foraging, and long-distance vocalising.

The apes tend to bathe a lot in this region as the heat index will often reach 49 degrees Celsius. Sometimes, in the heat of the night there are “romantic” disputes of “jealous” suitors, as you can see here. This study gave more insight into how apes behave during thermal stress.

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