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How humans and chimpanzees travel towards a goal in rainforests

Travel linearity increases in humans when they travel in increasingly large groups, while chimpanzees travel more goal-directed when they are on their own

How do human-unique ranging styles, like large home range and trail use, influence the way we travel to our goals? Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, investigated spatial movement patterns of the Mbendjele BaYaka people and Taï chimpanzees. Human foragers and chimpanzees travelled in similarly straight lines towards goals, but they showed clearly different patterns in how they change linearity and speed depending on group size and familiarity with an area.

© Karline Janmaat