Science: Chimp to Chimp

Those garrulous primates

The two youngsters, ages 4½ and 3½, are perched on stools before a large console with pushbuttons, doing their lessons. For a while they peck busily away at the keys. But like playful kids everywhere, they eventually become bored and mischievous. Ignoring their work, they start to hug, squeal and make faces at each other, wrestle a littie and bound merrily about the room.

Rambunctious students in a computer-age kindergarten? Well, sort of. The students, named Sherman and Austin, are chimpanzees, enrolled in an extraordinary class at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta. Despite their occasional unruly conduct,...

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