Apes gamble like humans by calculating odds

London: Apes are more clever than you thought. The animals are capable of gambling like humans by calculating odds, say researchers. A new study, led by Daniel Haun of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Germany, has revealed that apes are quite apt in calculating the odds before taking risks like gambling.
The researchers observed apes as they gambled using upturned cups concealing pieces of chopped banana. Given the choice of a safe bet of a small piece of banana or a larger chunk of fruit hidden beneath one of a selection of shuffled cups, the apes chose to gamble more than 50 per cent of the time.
The team found that they were also able to identify when the odds were stacked against them and when it was wiser to go with the safe bet. As more cups were added and the odds became worse, the apes become more cautious.
The ability is shared by chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans, the researchers said, although chimps and orangutans were found to be more prolific risk-takers, `The Daily Telegraph` reported. "Our study adds to the growing evidence that the mental life of the other great apes is much more sophisticated than is often assumed," Haun said.