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Movies  >>  DVD  >>  Television

Nova

Nova: Ape Genius

Nova Nova Ape Genius Ws Nr
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It's easy to feel empathy for the great apes--chimps, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas--which are our nearest relatives in the animal world. They have some of the largest brains in proportion to body size of any animals. For decades we've known that some of them can use simple tools and even be trained to communicate with us in sign language. But just how smart are these animals? In co-production with National Geographic, NOVA explores the provocative findings of a new generation of researchers investigating the secret mental lives of apes and the crucial gap between ape intellects and our own.

Description:

It's easy to feel empathy for the great apes-- chimps, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas-- which are our nearest relatives in the animal world. They have some of the largest brains in proportion to body size of any animals. For decades we've known that some of them can use simple tools and even be trained to communicate with us in sign language. But just how smart are these animals? In co-production with National Geographic, NOVA explores the provocative findings of a new generation of researchers investigating the secret mental lives of apes and the crucial gap between ape intellects and our own. It turns out that every time we've defined a mental ability that we think is uniquely human, the great apes have it too-- everything from culture to planning ahead, empathy for others, and even simple math. But, as Ape Genius reveals with fascinating first-time footage from Africa and leading primate labs, the scientists are zeroing in on subtle and tantalizing hints of what that essential difference may be. Besides its hugely entertaining sequences of chimps staging pool parties and working vending machines, Ape Genius reveals a new and deeper understanding of our profound kinship with our primate relatives and exactly what it means to be human.

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