Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Missing Link" Between Humans and Monkeys Found

Hows that for a headline!?  You want to start a riot you can always count on this one to really come with emotional baggage big time! But still......

The "missing link" comes in from an unexpected direction when scientists discovered a link between human speech and monkey chatter.    The "chatter" in question is a distinctive lip-smacking sounds 
made by baboons in the Ethopian highlands.  Researchers  found striking similarities between these lip-smacking sounds and human speech.

The sounds that these gelada baboons make are often so human sounding that researchers often are fooled into thinking there are humans close by talking. 

What this ability demonstrates is that the ability to make complex sounds may have developed well before speech.  When  the need to communicate complex ideas, the ability was already in place.  However the need to communicate complex ideas possibly drove the evolutionary process. 

It should also be noted that monkeys in general smack their lips when eating, it seems to only the gelada who use the "sounds" for communication or the males calling to the females.

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