Chimps can be bilingual, too (who knew?)

February 6, 2015 8:23 AM

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Katie Slocombe and her colleagues at the University of York studied chimps that had been relocated from the Netherlands to Edinburgh zoo. As New Scientist reports, they kept records (and recordings) of the chimps’ grunts in the two locations. After three years, they found that the Dutch chimps had altered their grunts to fit in with their new Scottish friends.

Until now scientists had (arrogantly) assumed that humans were the only animal that could pick up language. They thought that the noises chimps make stemmed from involuntary outbursts, meaning that their ‘words’ for things were fixed and could never be changed. But this study suggests that not only ...

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