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Published May 2002
LGVN Animals - Monkey Talk

CHIMPS SHAKE HANDS AND SOME CHIMP GROUPS ARE VEGETARIAN

In direct parallel with human societies chimpanzees are showing cultural behaviours that vary throughout the world.

Like humans they greet each other with actions ranging from various handshakes to arm raising. Like comparing the American handshake to the Japanese bow, these amazing new studies show that chimps have multi-cultures, which geographically display social differences. In the Congo, groups of chimps, separated by the huge expanse of the Congo river display very diferent social behaviours. On one side of the river groups of chimps are carnivores and show aggressive behavior, whilst on the opposite bank, the chimps are passive, thoughtful vegetarians

Apes have the brains to talk.

Speech related areas of the brain previously thought unique to humans have been found in 3 members of the ape family.

Two researchers in Atlanta, Georgia, US, carried out harmless MRI scans on chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas and discovered the same speech areas as in human brains. Ape communicative behaviour stems from this same brain area as human speech. It's thought that humans continued to develop language whilst apes seemed happy to communicate with each other by the occasional grunt and arm gesture. Oddly enough, an action commonly used in many human households worldwide!


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