Wild Chimp Spotted Playing Very Familiar Game With Little Baby
Turns out baby chimps demand games of "airplane" too.
A sweet little interaction spotted in the forest in Africa is an astonishing reminder of how closely related humans are to chimpanzees.
An observer at the Tai Chimpanzee Project on the Ivory Coast was lucky enough to capture the moment on video.
In the footage, an adult chimp is lying on the ground, propping up a baby on her feet. The baby is all arms, swinging them around every which way while the adult makes the baby bounce.
It's exactly the game of airplane that the majority of us remember from our days as toddlers, when we'd demand our parents lift us up on their feet and let us pretend to fly.
But this is far from the only thing we have in common with great apes. Chimpanzees have complex social structures and behaviors that help them establish relationships, conquer anxiety and form trust.
"Understanding something about great apes often also helps us understand something about ourselves," Gisela Kaplan, a professor at the Center for Neuroscience and Animal Behavior at the University of New England in Australia, told The Dodo in 2016.
Even the end of this game of chimp airplane is stunningly familiar — when the baby is brought into the adult's open arms for a playful snuggle.
It's enough to make anyone a little nostalgic for being a kid.