i cannot verify if this experiment actually happened. if the results are true, it’s pretty mindblowing.
Half way through the novel, Yvonne’s barrister tells a story about an experiment in which a female chimpanzee and her newborn baby were placed in a specially prepared cage. When a dial was turned, the floor of the cage became hotter and hotter. At first the mother and baby leap from foot to foot. Then the baby jumps into its mother’s arms. The mother continues to hop about, trying to climb the cage walls. But eventually, every mother chimp does the same thing: she puts her baby on the hot floor and stands on it.
“I read that in a newspaper before I had children,” says Doughty, “and it stuck in my mind.