(30/12/2011) As if apes couldn't get any better, they've now gone and shown they're willing to take on 'the house' when it comes down to it.
Scientists have shown that they gamble when it comes to their favourite thing. They 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 hidden beneath one of the cups, the apes chose to gamble more than 50 per cent of the time.
More impressively 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 became less likely to gamble.
The ability is found in all four great apes: chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orang-utans with chimps and orang-utans found to be more prolific risk-takers. Reminds us of this nugget of NSFW YouTube gold...