Apes Found to Enjoy Slapstick Comedy

Everybody enjoys the banana peel gag

Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.

Primates may laugh at the misfortune of others, according to new research on laughter that finds apes appear to enjoy slapstick comedy. “The use of language-based jokes is clearly unique to humans,” said Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Oxford. “There is some suggestion that apes ‘play practical jokes’ or laugh at another’s misfortune,” such as enjoying watching someone trip on a banana peel. The research also demonstrated how laughter evolved and facilitates bonding in humans. Scientists have found that laughter groups—coordinated laughing—in humans include no more than three to four individuals but are still larger than ape groups. They laugh only in tandem.

Via Discovery News

Filed to:

promo logo