The chimpanzee, the most intelligent of all animals besides man, is even more clever than scientists had once thought. Trained chimps have shown that they can be taught to use a form of silent language to “speak” with their trainers.
First, the chimps learned symbols for a number of simple words. These symbols were contained on marked tokens. For instance, the chimps learned that by handing to their trainer a token marked with a circle, they would receive a banana.
Other markings represented other words. Before long, the chimps were constructing their own “sentences” by placing a group of tokens in a certain order. What did the chimps have to say? Mostly simple things, like “I want banana now.”
These chimps even learned how to operate a vending machine. They were taught that certain tokens placed in a slot would produce a piece of fruit. The chimps soon began to hoard their tokens, and even fought among themselves over the “coins”!