There is the old saying, “monkey see, monkey do.” This saying touches on the fact that primates learn by observation and imitation, including humans. We learn many things by watching and trying to imitate the act, such as walking and talking. Primates also learn in the same way, and primates in direct contact with humans have been known to pick up human characteristics.
In addition, I recently heard a fascinating study that domestic cats may in fact have adapted their purr to incorporate the sounds present in a human baby’s cry, to better manipulate human owners. Dogs and cats may also not explicitly “mimic” humans, but their long history of domesticity and social contact with us causes them to behave in ways probably more “human” than other species.
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