Just like us, chimps laugh even when the joke isn’t funny


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The Independent Online

Chimpanzees can share a joke just like any human but they are also capable of sharing a laugh even when they don't find something particularly funny, scientists have discovered.

A study of wild chimpanzees has found that laughter occurs not just when chimps are having fun but also when they want to promote some kind of social bonding – much like human smiles help bonding in a conversation.

"Humans clearly use laughter as an important response in a wide range of social situations, but it is particularly interesting that chimpanzees seem to also use laughter to respond in such distinct ways," said Marina Davila-Ross of Portsmouth University.

"We found their responsive laughter shows a similarity to the conversational laughter of humans," Dr Davila-Ross said.

The study examined laughter in 59 chimpanzees at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia.