New research confirms that marmoset calls vary in different groups, showing that the calls are learned, not strictly biologically programmed. … More Even Marmosets Develop Regional Dialects
Researchers have catalogued body language in bonobos, providing key insight into the evolution of human language. … More The Body Language of Bonobos and the Evolution of Human Language
That “guilty dog” look is the product of millions of years of evolution and is actually a sophisticated social communiqué. … More Borrowed Signals: A Discussion of the “Guilty Dog” Look
Professor Con Slobodchikoff’s life work with prairie dogs has revealed that their complicated system of calls can communicate sophisticated and detailed information. … More A Career Studying the Sophisticated Vocabulary of Prairie Dogs
(A long discussion of animal communication can be found in my book.) In the last 40 years, there have been many apes that have been taught to communicate with humans using sign language or other means, but the most famous among them are Koko the gorilla, Washoe the chimpanzee, and Kanzi the bonobo. These are … More Koko, Washoe, and Kanzi: Three Apes with Human Vocabulary
Humans like to think of ourselves as the only animal that speaks to each other using language. It’s one of the things that “separates us from the animals,” so the saying goes. However, we already know that lots of other animals communicate with each other using vocal-auditory communication. Further, we’re beginning to learn that other … More Did Neanderthals Speak?
(A longer discussion of animal communication is found in my book.) Human language seems so much more complicated and organized than anything experienced by animals. Nevertheless, animals do indeed communicate complex ideas using precise, intentional communication. Some primate species even have discrete audible words with unambiguous meanings. In other words, they have their own spoken languages and … More Other Primates Use Speech and Vocabulary