From the BBC:
Researchers say they have translated the meaning of gestures that wild chimpanzees use to communicate.
They say wild chimps communicate 19 specific messages to one another with a “lexicon” of 66 gestures.
The scientists discovered this by following and filming communities of chimps in Uganda, and examining more than 5,000 incidents of these meaningful exchanges.
The diagrams in fact demonstrate that the animals act out what they want, equivalent to a cat rubbing one’s legs and then running in the direction of the fridge.
Only humans and chimps, she said, had a system of communication where they deliberately sent a message to another individual.
“That’s what’s so amazing about chimp gestures,” she told BBC News.
Really? Cats do this frequently. And they are not considered very intelligent.
I fondly recall one cat who used to position himself when I was moving about in the dark so that I would step on him—and then demand a treat in compensation. He never did it with people he knew would not feel badly enough to give him a treat.
Was this not a message deliberately sent to one individual? (Yes, I am a human, but only a human could open the fridge, a fact of which that cat was well aware.)
If this is really supposed to demonstrate unique chimpanzee language gesture skills, then maybe they don’t exist? – O’Leary for News