Page last updated at 00:05 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Monkeys keep chatter 'short and sweet'


Monkeys avoid long-winded chatter, preferring to keep it brief, a new study suggests.

Scientists found that Formosan macaques use short calls far more often than lengthier vocalisations.

Humans also do this: the words that we use most often, such as "a", "of" and "the", do not take long to say.

The fact that we both share this vocal trait could shed more light on the origin of human language, the team writes in the journal Biology Letters.

This footage shows fighting macaques adding some some rarely used longer calls to their short bursts of chatter.


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