“This study is top-notch and shows clearly that our traditional ideas about intelligence no longer hold,” Hare says. “There are many different types of intelligence that vary independently of one another. This means there are many different types of genius, even in animals.”
Herrmann admits that Natasha may have just happened to score highly in each area, and that there are likely other chimps out there that can score as high as Natasha. She has a gut feeling about one in particular that hasn’t been tested yet, but who seems highly motivated to solve puzzles and tests to get rewards. Future research on Natasha—and other genius-ranking chimps that the researchers track down—might reveal what social or genetic factors make the apes score higher than others, she says.