Chimps can learn foreign 'dialects,' experiment shows

February 6, 2015 11:30 AM

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Chimps can learn foreign 'dialects,' experiment shows

Zookeepers at Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo began a fascinating social experiment in 2010: They put a group of chimpanzees raised locally in the Netherlands together with a group of chimps raised in Scotland. This kind of chimpanzee-group mixing almost never occurs in the wild.

Like all chimpanzees, the two groups of chimps in the study had special grunts for certain types of food, which change based on their preferences. The Dutch chimps loved apples, and referred to the fruit using a high-pitched grunt, whereas the Scottish chimps disliked apples, and used a much lower-p...

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