Chimps Use Human-Like Gestures to Communicate

Chimps Use Human-Like Gestures to Communicate

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Wild chimpanzees communicate using similar gestures to humans, according to a Stirling researcher. Anna Roberts said she had identified about 20 to 30 manual gestures used by chimps, up to a third of which were similar to those used by humans. The chimps’ gestures included beckoning to make someone approach or flailing their arms to make someone leave. It is hoped the finding may help researchers understand how humans evolved language.

Roberts studied chimpanzees in the wild in Uganda over an eight-month period. She believes the gestures suggest that a common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees must have used similar manual gestures, saying her research showed that the basic elements for the evolution of language appeared to be present in our closest living relatives.

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