How one act of chimpanzee affection can teach us all to hug more.

Have you seen these tiny chimpanzees hugging? Because OMG.

GIF via Animal Lovers/Facebook.


We don't know a lot about these two. But according to Mashable, they're best buds who were reunited and got caught hugging on Snapchat in a video posted to Facebook by Animal Lovers.

I'll give you a minute to finish squealing. Good? OK.

Believe it or not, what's happening in this video is more than just the cutest thing in the world...

Hugging is actually a really important part of being a chimpanzee. Chimpanzees are highly social creatures, with social interplay and physical interaction being a key part of their development.

Chimps typically hang out in groups based on family and community. The groups can range in size from 20 to 120, and a vast array of chimp politics and social behavior can be seen if you watch closely enough.

"Did you ever notice that our feet look exactly like our hands? It's kinda messing with my head, man." Photo by Rob Elliott/AFP/Getty Images.

In family units and the larger community, chimpanzees use physical touch to ensure trust, express affection, and even say thank you. Like this chimp who gave Jane Goodall a long hug after being rescued and released back into the wild.

GIF via Jane Goodall Institute of Canada/YouTube.

OK, how about another minute to finish crying?

Good? Good.

We human beings have a lot in common with our primate ancestors — including the need for physical touch.

Hugs and other contact promote feelings of trust in humans as well as animals, according to this NPR interview with Matt Hertenstein, a psychologist at DePauw University.

When someone gives you a hug, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol go down, making you feel calmer, and your levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin go up, making you feel more trusting.

Hand-holding, hugging, or other types of friendly touch can actually give us the raw biological ingredients for building relationships, but these chimps already know that. Photo by Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images.

Oxytocin is also the hormone that helps new moms and babies bond, another key part of chimpanzee (and human) development. Mother and daughter chimpanzees have particularly strong trust-bonds, and these babies don't leave their mothers side until around age 7.

In short, hugs are more important than you'd think.

They help our social development, they're good for our brain chemistry, and they can ensure feelings of trust, warmth, and bonding.

These women used free hugs to help heal after the 2015 Paris attacks. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

We may not all be as cute as those chimps, but we might be able to make a better society if we hug more. At the very least, it's a free, easy way to make people feel good. So put your phone down and go hug someone, like this:

You've inspired me, little chimp friends.

PSA: Please don't hug any random chimpanzees without their consent.

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels.com

The Delta Baby Cafe in Sunflower County, Mississippi is providing breastfeeding assistance where it's needed most.

Mississippi has the third lowest rate of breastfeeding in America. Only 70% of infants are ever-breastfed in the state, compared to 84% nationally.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life. However, in Mississippi, less than 40% are still breastfeeding at six months.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

Keep Reading Show less