Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 17:15 UK

Tickling a baby orangutan

Advertisement

By tickling great apes, scientists have given more weight to the idea that human laughter can be traced back to 10 to 16 million years ago.

The team took over 800 acoustic recordings from 22 juvenile and infant apes - including this baby orangutan - and three human babies while their palms, feet, necks and armpits were being tickled.

After analysing the differences between apes' laughter and human laughter and then comparing this with our evolutionary family tree, the researchers found that laughter probably evolved in human and apes' last common ancestor.

Story Tools

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific