Everyone knows the story of Coco, the smartest monkey in the world. This unique animal was born in 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo. Psychologist Francine "Penny" Patterson decided to host Coco for research at Stanford University in the United States. The original task was to conduct the linguistic experience. A psychologist had to teach Coco American Sign Language. The purpose of the experiment: to learn how to communicate with a monkey and for the first time in history to understand how the primate thinks.
“In the beginning it was necessary to civilize a person in relations with a person. Now it is necessary to civilize man in relations with nature and animals. "
- Victor Marie Hugo
Many people argue that we are not descended from monkeys, and they are right: we have a common ancestor and we were lucky enough to get to the top of the food chain, but many species of primates are amazing. Coco was probably one of the smartest monkeys the world has known.
Francine and Coco managed to create a good team, because the gorilla managed to learn about 1000 different signs. She was not the first monkey to be taught sign language, but Coco was able to learn more than 2, 000 words in English, she understood their meaning and could operate on them.
At 19 years old, Koko was able to pass the mirror test for understanding her reflection - a test that most gorillas could not master. The most interesting aspect of the primate's use of language is that the gorilla has learned to joke and deceive.
Selfies in the mirror and the stars are friends.
Coco first appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1978. When she was only seven years old, she took a selfie in the mirror, and this picture graced the cover, after which the whole world recognized her as the smartest monkey in the world.
Coco, in addition to Francine, had many celebrity friends. Robin Williams met Coco in 2001, and in 2014, when Williams died, the gorilla expressed her sadness.
And bassist of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flea, was friends with Coco and even gave her his guitar, which the gorilla “played” several times.
Animal with pets.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Coco is that she is one of the few animals that has had pets.
Dr. Patterson read Coco's stories daily. The favorite story of the smartest monkey in the world was Puss in Boots. In 1983, on Christmas, the gorilla asked for a cat, and when she received the plush toy, Coco showed her disappointment and sadness. Only in July 1984, on her birthday, Coco chose a live Manx kitten, which she named "All Ball". The kitten died in the winter of the same year, and when she was informed of the death of the kitten, she began to cry and get angry.
Coco's Inner World.
An interesting episode occurred when an expert spoke with Coco about climate change on the planet. She was very interested and surprised by this topic, and also sent people a message with the help of signs. Coco asked us to take care of our planet. Don't be stupid. And attention: "nature is watching." This message is recorded on video.
The experience with Coco has shown not only that her species is endowed with great intelligence, but also that she has a very rich emotional world and that animals are capable of developing rational and moral judgments.
Coco's intelligence quotient (IQ) is said to be in the range of 70 to 90. This corresponds to the developmental level of a 12-13 year old adolescent.
Sadly, on June 19, 2018 the world's smartest gorilla died at the age of 46.