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Monkeys Are Sticklers for Grammar

Written by PETA | January 22, 2010

Grammar Nazis(cough) PETA editors (cough)—listen up: It turns out that you might have more in common with monkeys than with your fellow humans. / CC


New research suggests that nonhuman animals are capable of communicating not only among their own kind but also with members of other species. Klaus Zuberbühler, a psychologist at University of St. Andrews in Scotland, spent hundreds of hours listening to the calls of Campbell’s monkeys and other species, gradually decoding their language, which is so grammatically sophisticated that it uses suffixes to change the meaning of calls based on the kinds of animals posing a threat. These intricate calls, which are used to pass on complex information about predators and their whereabouts, could be understood by other species of monkeys and even by birds such as hornbills.

We’re constantly learning more about the countless ways in which animals of all kinds are brilliant, selfless, and complex. Meanwhile, with all our texts, tweets, and e-mails, we sometimes can’t even talk to other humans—let alone other members of other species (um, TISNF, BBIAB, FUBAR—WTF?).

Written by Logan Scherer

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  • Randy says:

    Hmmm…how can creatures entirely devoid of morals be morally superior? Did you know that even plants carry out interspecies communication? Some injured plants go as far as to release chemicals that attract predators of things that are eating them. Whether or not such communication is even intended in animals is very debatable. Natural selection alone would support development of this variety of communication as it increases the chance of survival of other members of the speciesand hence the species itself.

  • andi says:

    Now this is what I call good professional “research” studying animals in the wild in their own habitat and environment! It’s no news to me however that most animals are more intelligent than most humans certainly they’re morally and spiritually superior. Now PETA how can we apply this to the world of science where primates are tortured in labs 247? What does it take to make it illegal to experiment on primates then moving on to stopping all captive research on whales dolphins pigs cats dogs birds mice rats…?

  • Shari says:

    Monkeys are smarter than human and better looking!