Monkeys Can Learn Accents From Other Species

Mother Earth

Monkeys are intelligent animals sharing over 90% of their DNA with humans and a new study shows monkeys are intelligent in developing unique communication skills. A scientific study indicates monkeys can develop communicating in accents with other monkeys to be more friendly to other species.

A study published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology journal observed two different species of monkeys living in the Brazilian Amazon: the red-handed tamarins and their cousins, the bald-headed white pied tamarins. Scientists witness both species of monkeys share a limited range of calls that are known from birth with use for mating calls and warning against predators.

Scientists noticed the monkeys spoke a similar language with the species making calls in a slightly different way compared to English spoken by Americans and Britons. The species share the same environment, and the red-handed tamarins would communicate with the “cousin” species with an accent matching the bald-headed white pied tamarins.

Researchers indicate this language development helps the cohabitating species understand each other and regulates territorial disputes in their shared environment. It isn’t certain if a monkey can learn an accent during its lifetime or whether this characteristic is inherited.

Humans are the only primates that can learn new sounds and why we can communicate with complex learned languages. Studying communication among primates will help determine when humans evolved speech with language abilities of common ancestors and how language evolves on a biological level. Previous studies have indicated other species develop accents to adapt to their environment including goats, whales, birds, and bats. The research source for this article is based from a CNN report.