Chimps Make a Movie

A group of 11 chimpanzees living in Edinburgh, Scotland have created a film using specially created cameras dubbed ChimpCams. The movie came about as part of research being done by primatologist Betsy Herrelko, who is studying for her PhD.

Herrelko introduced the video technology to the chimps over an 18 month period. She created two goals for the chimpanzees: to learn to select videos to watch using a touchscreen and to learn to record their own videos using the ChimpCam.

By observing what videos the chimpanzees watched, Herrelko was able to determine what chimpanzees prefer to see. The chimps were allowed to choose videos of their enclosure or video of the area where zoo staff prepares their food. While an in-depth analysis of their viewing habits has not been done, it appears that the chimps have no preference for either set of videos.

The chimps were much more interested in the ChimpCam and enjoyed watching the video screen as they filmed their lives in the enclosure.

The film, ChimpCam, will be shown on BBC 2 on Wednesday, January 27th.

For more, and for a clip of the film, visit the BBC.

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