Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Meaning for monkey 'hok-oo' calls


Scientists may be a step closer to understanding the origins of human language.

Two studies suggest that the ability to combine sounds and words to alter meanings may be rooted in a species of monkey.

A team found the Campbell's monkey can add a simple sound to its alarm calls to create new calls.

Here, it changes its "hok" call, which is sounded when a crowned eagle swoops above the canopy, to "hok-oo" which is used for disturbances specifically in the canopy, from the presence of neighbouring groups of monkeys to other flying animals.


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