Chimpanzee – Communication
ambience – chimps
Chimpanzees communicate with each other, and not just with their voices. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Hobaiter: 1015 1:40 Chimpanzees have lots of different vocalizations.
Catherine Hobaiter is a Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology at St. Andrews University in Scotland. She travels to Uganda’s Budongo Rainforest every year to observe chimpanzee behavior in the wild.
Hobaiter: Some of them are very loud; these big Pant – Hoot calls that can carry a kilometer, maybe one and a half kilometers through the forest. They use those in the morning when they first wake up. And it allows different groups of chimps who slept in very different areas to be in acoustic contact with each other over this huge rain forest that they live in. They’ve also got very quiet vocalizations and one of the most important ones for a chimpanzee is a Pant -Grunt. And when you approach someone who is more dominant than you, you have to give the pant grunt vocalization to show that you recognize their dominance, otherwise you might get into trouble.
Chimpanzees use both vocalizations and gestures in about equal number. It’s just that they seem to be for very different reasons. The communication that’s really to somebody else in the community, maybe asking them to do something: “go away, come here; I want that.” That meaningful communication goes on with their gestures. The vocalizations are used in very different contexts and seem to contain quite different information.
Chimpanzees and humans share another common trait – a deadly one. We’ll hear about that in our next program.
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