World-renowned primatologist Dame Jane Goodall has likened Donald Trump’s behaviour to that of a chimpanzee.
The British conservationist first gained international recognition for studying chimps in what is now Tanzania and has studied the primates for more than 50 years.
“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” she told The Atlantic during the 2016 presidential election.
“In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: Stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks.”
A more aggressive display was likely to lead the male to higher positions in the hierarchy and allow it to maintain its status for longer, she said.
Mr Trump’s election campaign was littered with bombastic statements and since becoming President, he has issued increasingly aggressive threats towards North Korea.
In his first address to the UN General Assembly, he said the US may have no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea.
Dame Jane’s analysis of Mr Trump’s behaviour has since been echoed by prominent psychologist Professor Dan P McAdams.
Describing what he called a male chimpanzee’s “charging display” in an article in The Guardian, Professor Adams, of Northwestern University, said: “The top male essentially goes berserk and starts screaming, hooting, and gesticulating wildly as he charges toward other males nearby.”
He added: “Trump’s incendiary tweets are the human equivalent of a charging display: Designed to intimidate his foes and rally his submissive base, these verbal outbursts reinforce the President’s dominance by reminding everybody of his wrath and his force.”
Dame Goodall has previously condemned the Republican President’s plans to scrap key US climate change policies as “extremely depressing”.
Mr Trump resolved to take America out of the Paris climate change agreement, although in recent months has appeared to soften on the issue.
“There’s no way we can say climate change isn’t happening: it’s happened,” Dame Jane said in March during her first trip to the US since the election.
“There is definitely a feeling of gloom and doom among all the people I know.
“If we allow this feeling of doom and gloom to continue then it will be very, very bad, but my job is to give people hope, and I think one of the main hopes is the fact that people have woken up: people who were apathetic before or didn’t seem to care.”