Chimps recognize their friends from the shape of their buttocks! From National Geographic:

Each participating chimp was flashed a picture of another’s bum, with visible genitals, then shown the face of the derriere’s owner and another face of the same gender.

Both males and females were successful in this anatomical match game, pairing faces and posteriors with much greater frequency than chance alone—but only if the photos showed chimps they already knew.

Can humans do this? One of the study’s co-authors helpfully explains:

“Of course humans’ behinds are normally clothed,” he said. “I think the clothes interfere with things a bit. Maybe in a tribe in which people walk around naked all day, or a nudist colony … might be able to do this.”


3 Responses to Butt-face!

  1. Eric says:

    Hmmm… being in a Marine Science program with active open water work you often see more derriere’s clad only in a tight dive skin or bathing suit… might be interesting to do an informal study down at the dive locker?

  2. Soft bottom ecology!

  3. Eric says:

    LOL! One of the labs, that specializes in benthic ecology, here at Avery Point has the best slogan on their T-Shirt (which I finally got a copy of at the National Shellfish Association and Benthic Ecology Meeting’s student auction)
    “Studying hard and soft bottoms since 1979!”

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