Monkeys Are Sticklers for Grammar

Published by PETA.

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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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind