Animal minds News

Claim: Chimpanzee gestures only form of intentional animal communication

Spread the love

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

7 Replies to “Claim: Chimpanzee gestures only form of intentional animal communication

  1. 1
    mahuna says:

    Um, so a male gorilla thumping his chest contains no “communication””? And wolves baring their teeth says nothing?

    And what about prairie dog chirps and whatever it is that meercats do? With all this sign language, can a chimp tell another chimp, “John, on your way back from the hardware store can you pick up a load of bread?”

    Humans think deeper thoughts and tell their neighbors and their young stories for entertainment.

  2. 2
    awstar says:

    our dog Charlie must have evolved convergently with chimps since she would “sproingg” the door stop every time she wanted to go out to do her thing in the yard.

  3. 3
    humbled says:

    The way chimps, or any other animals communicate, is interesting, but what on earth does it have to do with human communication? Since there is no evidence to prove humans were ever anything but human, this research seems pointless.

  4. 4
    News says:

    mahuna at 1: No one said anything about no communication. The researchers are trying to position human and chimp language as functionally equivalent, and sorry, no.

    A bear actually does about as well as a chimp, maybe better – he rears up on his hind legs and leaves scratch marks with his front paws on a tree trunk. This apprises other male bears how big he is.

    Animal signal systems are very limited in the type of information they can communicate, as you suggest. They are not easily generalized – a key characteristic of human language. The bear can’t add – “But I’d rather not fight because the salmon run is starting in the next few days and there will be more than enough for everyone.”

  5. 5
    ppolish says:

    Chimps give Evo Psychologists clues to roots of Human addictions:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

  6. 6
    humbled says:

    Since humans have always been human, no evolution occurred, not in the macro sense anyway, evo psychology, evo diets and all the other evo nonsense is pointless.

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    Yes animals can memorize gestures and so communicate. Beavers slapping their tails on the water clearly tells all family members there is danger. otherwise no slapping would occur.
    The difference with people is we are made in gods image and smart like him or close. so we must communicate better.
    Apes are doing hjust what other creatures do. No better or worse.

Leave a Reply