Kanzi

From Academic Kids

Kanzi (born October 23, 1980), a bonobo, is one of the most most famous and accomplished linguistic apes, in research led by E. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh.

Born to Lorel and Bosandjo at Yerkes field station at Georgia State University, Kanzi was stolen and adopted shortly after birth by a more dominant female, Matata. As an infant, Kanzi accompanied his mother to sessions where she was taught language through keyboard lexigrams, but displayed little interest in the lessons. It was a great surprise to researchers then when one day, while Matata was away, Kanzi began competently using the lexigrams, becoming not only the first observed ape to have learned aspects of language naturalistically rather than through direct training but also the first observed bonobo to use language at all. Within little time, Kanzi had mastered the ten that researchers had been struggling to teach his adoptive mother, and has since learned more than two hundred more. Also notable is Kanzi's ability to understand spoken language and associate it with lexigrams, Kanzi's ability to understand simple grammatical sentences, and possibly his invention of novel vocalized words.

Kanzi is also a far more accomplished tool user and inventor than practically all other apes. (See September 1994 issue of Discover article, "Ape at the Brink")

Kanzi is Panbanisha's brother. Kanzi, her mother, brother, and sister now live at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa, the only primate research center in the world dedicated to studying cognative skills of all for types of primates.

See also: Koko

External links

  • Kanzi page (http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwlrc/biographies/kanzi.html) (with photos) at Georgia State University website.
  • Bonobo language lexigrams (http://www.iowagreatapes.org/bonobo/language/) at Great Ape Trust website

Kanzi is also the Kunrei-shiki spelling of Kanji, which are Chinese characters used in the Japanese language.

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