NOVA: Ape Genius Series

Lectures curated around NOVA: Ape Genius, which examines the secret mental and emotional lives of the great apes.

At a research site in Fongoli, Senegal, a female chimpanzee breaks off a branch, chews the end to make it sharp, then uses this rudimentary spear to skewer a tasty bushbaby hiding inside a hollow tree. The footage represents an astonishing breakthrough for primate researchers: It's the first time anyone has documented a chimpanzee wielding a carefully prepared, preplanned weapon. But it's only the latest in a slew of extraordinary new findings about ape behavior. The more researchers learn about the great apes—chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans—the more evidence they find of creative intelligence. What, then, is the essential difference between us and them? Ape Genius, a NOVA-National Geographic special, explores that provocative question and examines research that is illuminating the ape mind.

Lectures curated around NOVA: Ape Genius, which examines the secret mental and emotional lives of the great apes.

At a research site in Fongoli, Senegal, a female chimpanzee breaks off a branch, chews the end to make it sharp, then uses this rudimentary spear to skewer a tasty bushbaby hiding inside a hollow tree. The footage represents an astonishing breakthrough for primate researchers: It's the first time anyone has documented a chimpanzee wielding a carefully prepared, preplanned weapon. But it's only the latest in a slew of extraordinary new findings about ape behavior. The more researchers learn about the great apes—chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans—the more evidence they find of creative intelligence. What, then, is the essential difference between us and them? Ape Genius, a NOVA-National Geographic special, explores that provocative question and examines research that is illuminating the ape mind.