BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Thursday May 18 2006 18:44 GMT

Monkeys can 'talk' to each other

A puttynose monkey.
It may seem like they're just aping around, but scientists in Nigeria have discovered that monkeys can talk to each other!

They've found that the cute putty-nosed monkeys can string "words" together to mean different things.

The clever primates use two main call signs - that sound like "pyows" and "hacks" - in a certain order.

A string of pyows warn against a loitering leopard, while a burst of hacks mean there's an eagle hovering.

The scientists tested the monkey language out by playing recordings of the noises back to the monkeys and watching what they did.

This is an exciting discovery because before it was thought that animals only used one sound to mean one thing, while here the monkeys are mixing up different sounds in a certain order to give particular messages.

Monkeys are among the human's closest relations in the animal kingdom, along with gorillas and chimpanzees.

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy