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Friday, December 30, 2011

Chimpanzees Consider Their Audience When Communicating

Chimpanzees may be more socially aware than we thought. Researchers studying primate communication have found that chimps factor in considerations about the mindsets of others before they call out.

The team set up an experiment where wild chimps were faced with lifelike plastic poisonous snakes. When chimps were around others who had not yet seen the snake, they would emit a soft warning sound about the danger ahead. Researchers say the chimps demonstrated awareness of the knowledge of others and adjusted their communications accordingly, issuing missing information when needed.

The study, which will be published in the journal Current Biology, may shed light on the origin of human language.

[BBC]

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