It’s been a very quiet day here at the sanctuary. Lots of napping and grooming, with the occasional break to go outside and get snow.
Negra is a pro at napping. She tried to groom with Missy for a while but it apparently wasn’t exciting enough to keep her awake, and she started yawning.
I’m sure you’ve experienced contagious yawning before. Chimpanzees experience the same thing. In fact, the humans and chimps at CSNW “catch” yawns from each other all the time. I have been yawning nonstop for the last ten minutes as I’ve been working on this blog post.
The jury is still out on the function of yawning, but some scientists believe that yawning is contagious in some animals because it facilitates the synchronization of activities, particularly the transition between activity to rest. One study showed that chimpanzees “catch” yawns more often from males than from females. Why would this be the case? According to the authors, we should expect the group to synchronize with male behavior more than females because males are the dominant sex.
In any case, I hope you all feel better now that you’ve had a good yawn.