Monday, 6 September 2010

Chatting chimpanzees are 'socially aware'

Primatologists have discovered that chimpanzees are aware of the social impact of their communications, and use a variety of calls and gestures.

Even more surprisingly, researchers found that chimps will actually change what they "say" depending on who is listening at the time. This represents an important finding because it reveals a previously unrecognised social awareness that may even have implications for the origin of human language.

Details of the discovery have been published in the journal Animal Behaviour.

Up until now, the high level of awareness of the potential social consequences of calling has not been shown in any non-human primate.

It also appears that chimpanzees are biologically programmed to appreciate pleasant music!

The more we learn about our closest evolutionary relations the more we realise just how close we are and why it’s so important to protect species and the environment on which they depend. In particular, its imperative that we do everything possible to protect the rainforests.

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