Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chimp and See (and Hear!)

Sometimes, our most interesting discoveries aren’t what we see, but what we hear! In this series of posts, we’ll share some of the fascinating sounds of Africa that we’ve heard in the Chimp & See project.

First up - chimps, of course! It is believed that chimpanzees have over 30 types of vocalizations that they use to communicate with each other. Here are a few of the most common types that we’ve caught on video:

Pant-hoots are loud calls for communicating information, especially over a distance. Here, Andrew lets out a pant-hoot from his seat on the ground.

Every individual’s pant-hoot is unique.  For comparison, this clip shows our one-armed friend, Dodge, combining his pant-hoot with thumps against a tree.  This display is referred to as 'drumming.'

Pant-grunts are submissive greetings.  In this clip, we see Teddy seated on the ground using a rock tool.  Bendo, with nuts in his mouth and each hand, makes pant-grunts as he joins Teddy to wait for his turn to use the rock.

Food grunts are made when food is found or while eating.  Here, we see a chimp passing by the camera on his way to a food patch, where (off-screen) other chimps are emitting food grunts.

Victim screams are heard when a chimp is disturbed by a something or is under attack.  In this clip, a female carrying an infant enters an area where a male is eating.  Her screams here indicate her uncertainty of the situation.  Her body language also communicates submissiveness to the male.

That’s all for now, but we have many more vocal chimps over at Chimp & See!  Check them out: 

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