Humans and Apes Share Common Body Language, Study Says

https://sputniknews.com/20230126/not-so-distant-relatives-humans-and-apes-share-common-body-language-study-says-1106716801.html

Not-So-Distant Relatives? Humans and Apes Share Common Body Language, Study Says

Not-So-Distant Relatives? Humans and Apes Share Common Body Language, Study Says

The discovery means that the last common ancestor people had with monkeys used this gestures.

2023-01-26T08:14+0000

2023-01-26T08:14+0000

2023-01-26T08:14+0000

science & tech

body language

monkey

chimpanzees

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Scholars from St. Andrews University discovered the fact that humans understand many gestures that wild chimps and bonobos are using to communicate. The research was published in the peer-reviewed academic journal PLOS Biology.The study was conducted the following way: the scientists demonstrated to volunteers a video of primate gestures and then test subjects had to choose the correct meaning of this gesture. They were able to correctly discern roughly 50% of the apes’ gesticulations.For instance, tearing strips from a leaf with teeth is an ape’s way of flirting, while a mouth stroke is asking for food. Apes use a body language “lexicon”, which consists of more than 80 gestures.Humans generally don`t use ape gestures, though as it was already said, they are able to understand them. Scientists stress that it is unclear whether we inherited the ability to recognize these gestures genetically, or whether non-verbal communication of people is actually not that different from that of the other primates, allowing us to discern the meaning of the gesture even without knowing the context.The ability of apes to communicate with gestures is not something entirely new. Gorilla Koko mastered more than 1,000 signs from the language of deafmutes and learned to understand more than 2,000 words. Also she was reportedly able to communicate thoughts and emotions.

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science, research, evolutionary biology, anthropology, body language, monkey gestures, apes body language, what gestures do apes understand, how to communicate with monkeys, are primates like humans

science, research, evolutionary biology, anthropology, body language, monkey gestures, apes body language, what gestures do apes understand, how to communicate with monkeys, are primates like humans

A recent discovery has indicated that the most recent common ancestor people shared with great apes used this gestures.

Scholars from St. Andrews University discovered the fact that humans understand many gestures that wild chimps and bonobos are using to communicate. The research was published in the peer-reviewed academic journal PLOS Biology.

The study was conducted the following way: the scientists demonstrated to volunteers a video of primate gestures and then test subjects had to choose the correct meaning of this gesture. They were able to correctly discern roughly 50% of the apes’ gesticulations.

“So we already had a suspicion that this was a shared gesturing ability that might have been present in our last shared ancestor. We’re quite confident now that our ancestors would have started off gesturing, and that this was co-opted into [our] language,” scientists stress.

For instance, tearing strips from a leaf with teeth is an ape’s way of flirting, while a mouth stroke is asking for food. Apes use a body language “lexicon”, which consists of more than 80 gestures.

Humans generally don`t use ape gestures, though as it was already said, they are able to understand them. Scientists stress that it is unclear whether we inherited the ability to recognize these gestures genetically, or whether non-verbal communication of people is actually not that different from that of the other primates, allowing us to discern the meaning of the gesture even without knowing the context.

The ability of apes to communicate with gestures is not something entirely new. Gorilla Koko mastered more than 1,000 signs from the language of deafmutes and learned to understand more than 2,000 words. Also she was reportedly able to communicate thoughts and emotions.

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