Tomato, Tomahto? Chimps Can Learn 'Dialects'

February 5, 2015 5:03 PM

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Chimpanzees specifically refer to favorite foods with distinct grunts, but the calls differ between populations, according to a new study that found chimps could then learn the "foreign" grunts, making communication easier when two groups merge into one.

The findings, reported in the latest issue of the journal Current Biology, show that, like human words, chimp food calls are not fixed in their structure and that, when exposed to a new group, chimps can change their calls to sound more like their group mates.

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