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Bibliography – Science – Voice communication in wild chimpanzees is more complex than we thought

Researchers have made more than 4,800 audio recordings of members of three groups of chimpanzees living in Tay National Park in Ivory Coast.

In addition to bonobos, chimpanzees are humans’ closest living genetic relatives, and are intelligent apes that make and use tools and can be taught some basic signs of human sign language.

Scientists have long known that chimpanzees use different sounds in the wild, but a new study published in Communications Biology offers a comprehensive study of the species during communication.

The complexity of voice communication

The study’s lead author, Cedric-Girard Batouz, is a behavioral ecologist at the CNRS’s Institute of Cognitive Sciences in France.

It is not a language, but one of the most complex forms of non-human communication.

Cries observed included wheezing, whistling, barking, whistling, whistling, screeching, wheezing, and non-acoustic clicking of the lips. The researchers found that these

Shouts were used by chimpanzees in 390 different sequences.

The order of shouts seems to be shaped by rules and structure. However, the study did not attempt to decipher its possible meaning, MTI writes.

The most significant discovery is that non-human primates are able to create multiple structured vocal sequences and combine small sequences with two vocalized into longer sequences. This is also important because it indicates the prerequisite for structured communication, which in our language may be the basis for evolution towards syntax.

Gerard Bottos said.

Syntax refers to the arrangement of words and phrases that results in comprehensible sentences. Whistling was one of the most common sequences observed by the researchers.

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They wondered if the different sequences could convey complex meanings in the complex social environment of chimpanzees. However, at the moment, they only have guesses about the possible meanings of the tones.

“We need to explore in detail the context in which these sounds are emitted to see if the number of sounds differs between each cry and its sequence,” Girard-Buttoz said. “Next, we need to do playback experiments to see if the supposed meaning is the same as the behavioral response of chimpanzees when they hear a cry.”

Researchers are still not sure whether chimpanzees’ vocal communications can resemble the beginnings of language development during human evolution. Humans and chimpanzees descend from a common ancestor, but their line of evolution split about seven million years ago.