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Monkeys 'talk in turns'

They can chat too  

Recordings of monkeys calling to one another have revealed that they take it in turns to make sounds, in a pattern very similar to human conversation. Scientists from Princeton University recorded marmosets as they called each other. The animals would wait several seconds before responding.


Nov 25,2013
. (Sound made by a monkey) 

These very high-pitched squeaks could provide a clue about theevolutionary route of our own conversational turn-taking

The Princeton University team recorded these exchanges between marmosets as they sat in opposite corners of a room.

The animals were separated by a curtain, so they could hear but not see one another. 

After one of the diminutive monkeys called out, the other waited several seconds before responding. 

(Sounds made by a two monkeys, one after the other) 

The scientists suggest that sounds might contain information that the listener needs to take time to digest

Whatever the reason for this polite pausing, these simple, squeakyexchanges could illustrate the foundations of the way we communicate - by talking and, perhaps more importantly, listening.




(of a sound or voice) very high

evolutionary route

gradual change and development over time


from one to another


brief conversations


very small

to digest

to consider


basic elements