Primate Communication Essay

1271 Words 6 Pages
Monkeys and humans have been compared for years, “we have all heard the expression monkey see, monkey do. But should the saying really go monkey hear, monkey do?” (Sakrison) Recent studies are finding that the language abilities of some monkeys are more sophisticated than we ever thought possible (Sakrison). Monkeys often always live together in social groups. And each member contribute by helping to defend their food sources, watch for predators, and even raise each other’s young. Is it impossible to live in a social group without some form of communication Group members need ways to influence and inform each other? This is what drives language. (Sakrison)
Primates have evolved many ways of communicating; these include visual cues, and
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What’s even more fascinating is that the Diana monkeys can understand other species of monkeys. Putty-nosed guenons also combine calls, and their messages can be understood by the Diana monkeys. (Sakrison) A great example of multilingual primates is the Diana monkeys and the eight different species of primates they live in close proximity too, with eight different monkey species living together and listening to each other. With eight times as many eyes on the lookout, making it significantly harder for predators to go unnoticed. Each of the eight species has about fifteen distinct calls that are about a hundred and twenty different sounds to remember. There are only a select few humans that speak eight different languages and the ones that do are few and far between, it appears that these primates have evolved to be able to communicate between their species.
Some primates are capable of displacement, the use of language to refer to things that are not present. Primates use both spatial displacement, referring to objects that are not present in that space, and temporal displacement, referring to objects that are not present at that time. Impressive intelligence is necessary to live in very large groups of up to eight hundred individuals. Within the larger group, gelada males are chosen by females, and they live within a

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