Just like humans, other apes enjoy spinning

Just like humans, other apes enjoy spinning

The New York Times reports:

In 2011, a gorilla named Zola gained internet fame when the Calgary Zoo posted a video that showed him spinning in circles on his knuckles and heels with what appeared to be a huge grin on his face. Zola, the so-called break-dancing gorilla, returned in 2017, this time in a video showing him whirling around a kiddie pool with a level of wild enthusiasm rivaling the most committed human dancer at an all-night rave.

Humans’ love of spinning around in circles, especially during childhood, is evidenced by the enduring popularity of playground merry-go-rounds, revolving fun park rides and the irresistible draw of somersaulting down a hill. But new research suggests that humans are not alone in their pursuit of spin-induced buzzes.

According to findings published last month in the journal Primates, other great ape species also seem to regularly enjoy stimulating their senses through spinning, possibly even in pursuit of altered mental states.

“Spinning around to make ourselves dizzy is something we usually think of as a distinctly human activity,” said Marcus Perlman, a cognitive scientist at the University of Birmingham in England and an author of the study. “So it’s really cool to find that other primates do this, too, and that they seem to do it for the same reason that children do: because it’s fun and exhilarating.” [Continue reading…]

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