Friday, May 6, 2011

Chimp Gestures

My, my, turns out chimps will use up to 66 different gestures to communicate with each other. I've been able to get away with maybe three or four to cover all scenarios.

From the BBC

Wild chimpanzees use at least 66 distinct gestures to communicate with each other, according to scientists.

A team of researchers from the University of St Andrews in Scotland filmed a group of the animals in order to decipher this "gestural repertoire".

The team then studied 120 hours of footage of the chimps interacting, looking for signs that the animals were intentionally signalling to each other.

The findings are published in the journal Animal Cognition.

Previous studies on captive chimps have suggested the animals have about 30 different gestures.

"So this [result] shows quite a large repertoire," lead researcher Dr Catherine Hobaiter told BBC News.

"We think people previously were only seeing fractions of this, because when you study the animals in captivity you don't see all their behaviour.

"You wouldn't see them hunting for monkeys, taking females away on 'courtships', or encountering neighbouring groups of chimpanzees."

Dr Hobaiter spent 266 days observing and filming a group of chimpanzees in Budongo Conservation Field Station, Uganda.

more of the story at the link above

Impressive. Mexico City residents - also known as Chilangos - have a good repertoire of gestures at their disposal as well, most often seen while driving. Here are some of the more common ones.

Thank you.

Sometimes seen while driving though it is rare to thank someone for doing something nice. Usually you are being cut off or cursed for something you did to someone else.

Gimme a second.

This doesn't refer to a male member - oh I've seen some foreign guys put off when a Mexican woman did this to them on the dance floor. Need a second before responding to someone's request? Show them the little inch.

That's it, that's it, that's it!

Trying to remember something but can't then someone says it? That's it! Extend your index finger and wag it like scratching an itch.

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