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Chimpanzee Behavior
Chimpanzee infants, like human children, need their mothers' care, affection, and instruction to grow up properly. Normally, a youngster continues to suckle from his or her mother's breast until four and sometimes five years of age. The sudden loss of the mother causes withdrawal and loss of appetite. Weakened, the youngster falls prey to illness, and in some cases, the youngster eventually dies.

Jane's observation:
When Merlin, a young male, was three years old, his mother disappeared, and was presumed dead. After her death, Merlin's older sister Miff adopted him. However, a year after his mother's death, Merlin's behavior became very abnormal. Sometimes he hanged upside down like a bat, holding onto a branch by his feet and remaining suspended almost motionless for several minutes at a time. Hunched up with his arms around his knees, he often sat rocking side to side with wide-open eyes that seemed to stare into the far distance. He also spent much time grooming himself during which he pulled out hair after hair, pulling at their roots, then dropping them. In addition, his tool use behavior changed dramatically. Instead of improving, as it was before his mother died, it remained very clumsy and inefficient. Gradually Merlin's health deteriorated and eventually, at the young age of five, he died. Merlin's behavior changes after his mother's death reflect the emotional state he entered after losing someone so close.

Source: In The Shadow of Man, pp. 226-231.

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