Update: Apparently this is a fake news story that somehow slipped into our legitimate news sources. More info here, thanks Kambiz, we dared to dream...
With the help of specially designed software that recognises sign language (ASL), and a 'chimp proof' adapted touch-screen, these leading scientists recently announced that the ape can communicate using more than 1000 symbols, adapted to the most popular features of the online social network.
A 20-year-old male chimpanzee named Albert was the first ape to join Facebook, the largest online social network.
Scientists from The University of Northern Oregon have spent the last two years training Albert , who belongs to the Pan troglodytes species, to acquire language skills necessary for their online social life.
They can chat online with their best friends from around the world, write text messages, and even upload their favourite profile pictures. Albert gang has become very popular among Facebook's users.
'Although sociologists and anthropologists have used social networks as empirical research tools, Facebook will now provide a new platform for biologists to observe the chimpanzees' social skills', claims Chief Researcher Dr. John F. Marlowe.
Albert discover FacebookPrevious studies have revealed that chimpanzees and humans use the same brain region to communicate verbally and non-verbally. The neurobiological connection between chimps and humans was realized after years of observing chimps at the National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, USA. 'These results can be interpreted to show that chimps have a brain designed for language, and use it to produce symbols that build their communicative repertoire', claims Dr. Marlowe.
Albert is a prodigious exemplar of our closest genetic relative. This genetic closeness supports comments made by Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Dr. Robin Dunbar who claims that, 'chimps should be considered human due to our biological proximity'.
Professor Marlowe´s new challenge is to train Albert in the use of more sophisticated social networks like palabea, the language learning platform.
You can see Albert´s profiles at:
For more info about the cyberchimps project: cyberchimps.org