Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Whistling orangutan surprises zoo

Bonnie, a 32 year old orangutan at the National Zoo in Washington DC, has learnt how to whistle.

Bonnie's Keeper, Erin Stromberg, says Bonnie's self-taught talent has implications on ideas about the evolution of speech.

Researchers have said that Bonnie's behaviour goes against the idea that Orangutans have a fixed number of sounds, which are involuntary responses based on emotion.


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