Author and primatologist Frans de Waal  talks about great apes, not-so-great humans, animal emotions and anthropodenial with Skaana (@Skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

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Show Notes

1:30 – Intro

3:35 – Defining anthropodenial.

6:05 – Anthropomorphism and primates.

7:02 – “That’s the interesting part is we are so human-centric that we can deal with facial expressions, but not with the expressions of an elephant who do a lot of things was their trunk and ears, but their face is not very mobile.”

8:31 – Are humans a “successful” species?

11:05 – On human exceptionalism. “People always want to be special.”

12:40 – “If related species show similar behavior under similar circumstances, you have to use the same terminology because the psychology behind it is probably similar too.”

13:28 – How science’s relationship with anthropomorphism is changing.

14:40 – Laughing chimps.

16:15 -Why primatologists use names for apes not numbers.

17:58 – Animals and grief. “All animals that have attachments can also grieve.”

20:30 -“I’m not against humanizing animals or animalizing humans.”

22:49 – Survival of the kindest versus survival of the fittest.

26:00 – Talking about his book Mama’s Last Hug.

27:40 – Gender roles in bonobos.

30:05 – Bonobos solve problems with sex.

32:46 – Is there resistance to de Waal’s work and theories?

34:27 – His thoughts on animal personhood and the rights of animals.

36:30 – How he became interested in animals and animal behaviour.

42:34 – How he began working with chimpanzees.

46:32 – Becoming friends with apes.

47:25 – Animal communication and “dialect”.

51:12 – On being a cat person. “I consider cats extremely social.”

52:10 – Talking to the Dalai Lama about empathy. “I think empathy is found in all the mammals.”