Our closest genetic relatives are monkeys and apes, if you remember anything from high biology. The Hominidae family of animals includes humans, gorillas, and orangutans. Chimpanzees and chimpanzees are our closest genetic relatives.
Primatologists and laypeople have both witnessed chimpanzees and bonobos at various zoos reprimanding their offspring by shaking their heads, as if to say “no” or “don’t do that!” For instance, moms of bonoboes were seen shaking their heads at the Leipzig Zoo in Germany as they attempted to discourage their baby from climbing a tree. When their kids played with their food rather than eating it, the same bonobos just shook their heads.
Naturally, scientists are unable to say with certainty that the bonobos’ head shaking motion meant to convey the negative message “no!” to their offspring. However, study researcher Christel Schneider of the Leipzig-based Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology said that the head-shaking motions that have been seen could be the precursors to greater
In addition to seeing their own faces in a mirror, monkeys also saw a laser pointer shown on their faces. The monkeys would receive food rewards if they were able to touch the laser on their faces. Almost every monkey tested was able to consistently and successfully do this task after two to five weeks. The following published study demonstrated that self-recognition is a neurological ability in monkeys.