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Just like humans, chimpanzees warn others of impending danger

AMINA KHAN: ‘Chimpanzees adjust their warning calls if they think a fellow primate hasn’t picked up on a nearby threat, a new study finds. The results, published in the journal Science Advances, reveal that humans and one of their closest living relatives may share a very special ability, one that could potentially shed light on the origins of language. Humans have succeeded as a species in large part because of our complex social communication skills — and underlying those skills is the ability to understand another individual’s perspective, and adjust what we say accordingly…

“I was most surprised that chimps seem to care so much that the other chimp actually sees the snake,” lead author Catherine Crockford, a primatologist at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said. “Not in all cases. But especially when it’s kin or a friend. It’s not enough that the other is out of danger, has stopped approaching or starts to avoid the snake. They wait at the snake until the other actually approaches enough to see the snake… [It] shows that there is more to animal communication than we thought, specifically that social cognition influences … vocal and nonvocal behavior”.’ SOURCE…


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