Researchers Decipher More Than 450 Gibbon Words

Gibbon A pensive lar gibbon at Palmitos Park, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria.
Image Credit: Thomas Tolkien via flickr.

Scientists have decoded more than 450 lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) calls to find the apes in Thailand make distinctive “hoo” sounds for other animals like eagles and leopards. Aside from louder calls that the gibbons are known for, many of these communications are delivered in softer whispers difficult to hear with the human ear — an evolutionary feature apparently made to go undetected by predators in the wild. The study could reveal insight into the evolution of human speech.

Read more at the Telegraph.