Apes have not lost the ability to swim, scientists discover
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Scientists said on Wednesday they were surprised to witness a chimpanzee and an orangutan swimming and diving in water - a skill that primates were thought to have lost long ago.
Evolutionary researchers Renato and Nicole Bender made the astonishing observation while filming two primates raised in captivity in the United States.
"We were extremely surprised when the chimp, Cooper, dived repeatedly into a swimming pool in Missouri and seemed to feel very comfortable," Renato Bender from the South African University of the Witwatersrand's School of Anatomical Sciences, said in a statement.
"It was very surprising behaviour for an animal that is thought to be very afraid of water."