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

Meaning for monkey 'hok-oo' calls

Advertisement

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.

SEE ALSO

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