Peering is one of my favorite chimpanzee behaviors. It is related to peering as we commonly understand it (looking intently at something), but it has a more narrow usage with chimpanzees. Chimpanzees often peer when they would like another chimpanzee to share some of their food. Rather than asking for some, they stare at the food as if it is some mysterious substance from outer space, sometimes getting as close as a few inches from the other chimp’s mouth. As a result, the peering chimp annoys the other chimp into either turning away or reluctantly giving up some of their food.
Today, Negra was enjoying a piece of ice from Young’s Hill while Jody peered at her. Peering can go on for an awfully long time, long enough to make me uncomfortable just watching it. I’m not sure whether Negra ever gave Jody a piece of the ice.