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Arm chimpanzees

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People have taught chimps to do many things, including using sign language. However, none of these things really seem to take root in chimpanzee society, presumably because they don't benefit the chimps. For instance, several sign- language-using chimps have had plenty of contact with other chimps, but the signing soon fizzles out. Chimps, it seems, can get by just fine without it.

Guns, however, are a different matter. I am fairly certain that a chimp could be taught to use a handgun (though I wouldn't want to be around for the steeper parts of the learning curve), and could be taught that prey can be shot.

The question, then, is whether mastery of a handgun would be of benefit to wild (or wildish) chimps. Chimpanzees do hunt, and they also fight with other chimps. So, a chimp that knew how to use a gun would conceivably have an advantage.

So, the experiment is to train a chimp or two to use a handgun (and also to load it - I'm sure they'd pick that up quite quickly), and then see if the gun culture propagates in the wild. Obviously, it would be necessary to provide a ready supply of ammunition (which would offer a means of halting the experiment if it went well).

MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 16 2015

Interspecies Internet http://blog.ted.com...nt-cerf-at-ted2013/
Another approach [JesusHChrist, Jun 16 2015]

...or maybe an AK 47 https://www.youtube...watch?v=GhxqIITtTtU
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 17 2015]

planet of apes - chimpanzee machete soldiers https://www.youtube...?t=24&v=d-0vbvy2ip4
[pashute, Jun 17 2015]

Fox - planet of the apes - chimpanzee playing shooter game https://www.youtube...watch?v=ya7IhijXYUQ
[pashute, Jun 17 2015]

Gorilla fighters https://www.youtube...watch?v=ZItE4FQU784
[pashute, Jun 17 2015]

[link]






       //(which would offer a means of halting the experiment if it went well)//   

       Until they run into the experimental group that was trained to make gunpowder, and the one that was trained to do metal casting.
MechE, Jun 16 2015
  

       That sounds like a very bad idea and an extremely cruel experiment. But I would be immensely interested to see what happens. Maybe someone should create reality show so they can bypass experimental ethics rules.
scad mientist, Jun 16 2015
  

       // I am fairly certain that a chimp could be taught to use a handgun //   

       There's a substantial body of anecdotal evidence* suggesting that, occasionally, RAF Regiment recruits have been successfully trained to walk upright and use edged tools without a significant degree of self harm**, so it's likely that chimpanzees can be trained up to Staff Officer level.   

       // whether mastery of a handgun would be of benefit to wild (or wildish) chimps. //   

       In some less salubrious drinking establishments, undoubtedly.   

       // which would offer a means of halting the experiment if it went well //   

       If it went really, really well, then the experiment would be intrinsically self-limiting.   

       We suggest that the Enfield .38 revolver would be the ideal weapon to issue; simple and easy to load, requiring minimal maintenance, and a fairly light trigger pull and mild recoil while still providing an acceptable level of lethality, particularly when loaded with soft-nosed ammunition.   

       Please let us know when you intend to start the experiment- we will furnish the weapons and ammunition free of charge in return for first option on the off-world video rights.   

       // That sounds like a very bad idea and an extremely cruel experiment. //   

       That sounds like a very good idea and an extremely cruel experiment.   

       // But I would be immensely interested to see what happens. //   

       Nowhere near as much as we are.   

       // Maybe someone should create reality show so they can bypass experimental ethics rules. //   

       "... and later we catch up with the latest from the Primate Rollerball league division 1. But now, let's go over to ChimpShot Live and see how the latest territorial dispute is progresing ..."   

       *Note that mere accumulation of observational evidence does not constitute proof.   

       **Not simultaneously, though.
8th of 7, Jun 16 2015
  

       //Note that mere accumulation of observational evidence does not constitute proof.//   

       That is, almost, word for word what Sturton (or perhaps it was the Intercalary - they are identical twins and you can only tell them apart by the age difference) said. The context, as I recall, was that he was repeatedly hitting the Intercalary (or perhaps it was Sturton) with a particularly thorny piece of Rattan. The Intercalary (or... etc) complained that Sturton was hurting him. Sturton responded, first, that correlation was no proof of causation, and then that observational evidence was no proof of anything anyway.   

       Admittedly, the Intercalary (or vice versa) had recently caught Sturton with the old thermite-in-the- cigar trick, but even so the retaliation was a little harsh.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 16 2015
  

       If you shaved off all of their hair, don't you just get the US Marine Corps?
xenzag, Jun 16 2015
  

       Unfortunately, yes.
8th of 7, Jun 16 2015
  

       Oh my.
blissmiss, Jun 16 2015
  

       Personally I blame all the polytechnics that have rebranded themselves as universities.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 16 2015
  

       I am on board with this, partially because no chimps are native to my area.
tatterdemalion, Jun 16 2015
  

       // no chimps are native to my area// yet.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 16 2015
  

       I think they may have an easier time using a slingshot. Think of how much further they could hurl their own feces!
Duck Lagrange, Jun 16 2015
  

       I can’t agree with this idea about arm chimpanzees — it might become fashionable to have an arm chimpanzee but the physical stress of the weight should not be underestimated. Chimps are fairly heavy animals and to carry a chimpanzee around on ones arm all day is quite a significant load, even though the chimp would move around a bit now and then to distribute the load. Still, I suppose it’s a better idea than leg bonobos.
Ian Tindale, Jun 16 2015
  

       Its already tried. Its called ISIS.
pashute, Jun 17 2015
  

       [link]   

       [Ian] A colleague here just announced he was off to the shop to get some Monkey Nuts - I have to say, both Arm Chimpanzees and Leg Bonobos sound better ideas to that.
hippo, Jun 17 2015
  

       I don't know why there are so many firearm-related ideas recently, but I like it.
Voice, Jun 17 2015
  

       // Still, I suppose it’s a better idea than leg bonobos. //   

       Well, it's preferable to having a monkey on your back ...
8th of 7, Jun 17 2015
  

       Foot soldiers can be useful, mind.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 17 2015
  

       Orang-Utans ? One pistol in each hand and an assault rifle in their feet ?
8th of 7, Jun 17 2015
  

       added some ape links
pashute, Jun 17 2015
  

       The handguns would have to be redesigned if you want accuracy. Branch detailing on the handle.
wjt, Jun 18 2015
  

       [MaxwellBuchanan] has clearly just made a corner in bush meat, of which this idea will sharply raise the price.
pertinax, Jun 18 2015
  

       I say no. Chimps have no real sense of pity or conscience. They would murder who ever they pleased and then go off to lunch without so much as a care about it. No. In fact, it is a bad idea entirely to give chimps loaded weapons of any sort. Even well trained, I think they would end up scratching their behinds with the muzzle while their finger was on the trigger. No end of potentially embarrassing accidents would ensue...poor chimps.
Altoidian, Jun 18 2015
  

       // Chimps have no real sense of pity or conscience. They would murder who ever they pleased and then go off to lunch without so much as a care about it. //   

       " And with that, Your Honour, we contend that Mr. Darwin's thesis is proven beyond reasonable doubt ... "
8th of 7, Jun 18 2015
  

       Can a chimp have a straight forearm ?
wjt, Jun 19 2015
  

       No wonder the sign language fizzled out. As I understand, the Chimp wanted a decent shave, and all he got was a gun when he demanded the "Right to bare arms".
Ling, Jun 19 2015
  

       But using the same principle, give enough chimps enough guns, and sooner or later one of them is actually going to shoot a rich presidential candidate.
Ling, Jun 20 2015
  

       Admittedly, with that 3D tree processing brain, the chimps are going to be a lot better at the trick shots.
wjt, Jun 20 2015
  

       // one of them is actually going to shoot a rich presidential candidate //   

       As opposed to one of them just being a rich presidential candidate ... ?
8th of 7, Jun 20 2015
  

       What [Altodian] said. I lived in Connecticut when that poor woman lost her face to her "trained" chimp. It was God awfuk.
blissmiss, Jun 20 2015
  
      
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