A female chimpanzee kisses an alpha male chimpanzee after a fight. Kissing as a way to reconcile is typical behavior for chimpanzees.

A female chimpanzee kisses an alpha male chimpanzee after a fight. Kissing as a way to reconcile is typical behavior for chimpanzees.

In 2016, a video of an aging chimp named Mama went viral. In the scene, Mama, on her deathbed, greets a biologist, Jan van Hooff, who she had known for decades. Her emotion is clear. The video is heartbreaking – and also so human, which helps explains why millions of people watched it.

For primatologist and psychologist Frans de Waal, the encounter perfectly illustrates the idea that animals have emotions – and that they often closely resemble our own.

He explores this idea in his new book, “Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves.”

Guests

  • Frans de Waal Psychology professor at Emory University and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center

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