Thursday, December 23, 2004
Monkey vocal ability investigated
Diana monkeys possess a complex vocal tract whose shape can be adjusted to articulate sophisticated sounds - just as humans do, scientists report.
Non-human primates were thought to have vocal tracts resembling simple tubes incapable of sophisticated articulation.
But a British-US-German team reports in the Journal of Human Evolution that the alarm calls of Diana monkeys would be impossible without a complex tract.
It says the finding may shed light on how and when human speech evolved.
It is possible that some of the proto-structures in the throat required for talking were already present in our primate ancestors millions of years ago, the researchers argue.
Posted by C. at 11:58 AM