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Chimpanzees Changing The Food Calls To Match Their Counterparts

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Chimpanzees produce different grunt calls when finding different food items. (Image credit: Florian Möllers / Katie Slocombe)

Chimpanzees produce different grunt calls when finding different food items. (Image credit: Florian Möllers / Katie Slocombe)

Katie Slocombe from the University of York observed that before integrating the two different groups of chimpanzees, each produced different grunts for “apple,” and after the integration, she noted that the new group members adapted their grunts to the ones produced by the chimpanzees already living there,

“Three years after the integration, the grunt calls of the new chimpanzees very much resembled the grunt calls produced by the Edinburgh chimpanzees.”, says Simon Townsend. “The preferences for apple in these chimpanzees stayed the same during this period, but the grunt calls changed.”

Their entire research is in Current Biology, Stuart K. Watson, Simon W. Townsend, Anne M. Schel, Claudia Wilke, Emma K. Wallace, Leveda Cheng, Victoria West and Katie E. Slocombe. Vocal Learning in the Functionally Referential Food Grunts of Chimpanzees. February 5, 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.032

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