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Gorillas have perfect table manners

They might be considered wild, but gorillas can teach a thing or two when it comes to table manners.

entertainment Updated: Jun 21, 2007 18:51 IST

Gorillas have the perfect table manners, or so it seems, according to a new study by the Zoological Society of London.

The researchers found the gorillas were using giant leaves as napkins to clean their fingers and faces after eating messy food.

"We were amazed to discover that gorillas use these leaves like napkins,” said Dr Noelle Kumpel, the society's forests conservation programme manager.

"The team saw that the gorillas were wiping their mouths and hands after eating messy fruits. It's a surprisingly human activity. It clearly demonstrates that we still have plenty to learn about these incredible animals,” Dr Kumpel said.

According to Dr Kumpel, the finding is further evidence that gorillas and other great apes behave similarly to humans.

According to the Daily Mail, the society's staff made the discovery while following a family of western lowland gorillas through the trees of a conservation park in Gabon.

They found that the apes tore giant leaves off a flowering plant to wipe themselves before throwing them to the ground.

According to the team, the gorillas also take pride in their appearance.

Grooming - where fleas, bugs and mud are picked from each other's hair - is an essential part of family life for gorillas.

However, unlike chimpanzees, which routinely use tools such as twigs and stones to hunt and gather food - gorillas are less technologically minded.

They have, however, been seen using sticks to find their way across swamps and pools, Dr Kumpel said.