Like humans, gibbons have regional accents too

Monday, February 7, 2011

LONDON - A new study has found that just like humans, gibbons have regional accents too.

Gibbons, which along with the great apes are the closest relatives to humans, sing to communicate with each other, and use song to define territory and woo mates.

Scientists from the German Primate Center analysed more than 400 samples of crested gibbon song including 92 duets and analysed them using 53 acoustic parameters.

The team said that the song shows not only the regional differences in ‘accents’ but also could give clues to their migrationary past.

While the gibbons from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were recognisable as being from the same region, two species from northern Vietnam and China had different ‘accents’ and were distinct from their southern relatives.

“We found the largest differences in the song structure between the most northern and most southern species with successive gradation between them,” the Daily Mail quoted the authors as saying.

“The results show that the structure of crested gibbon songs is not only a reliable tool to verify relatedness but also to unravel geographic origins.”

Reseacher Van Ngoc Thinh said: “Each gibbon has its own variable song but, much like people, there is a regional similarity between gibbons within the same location.”

The study appears in journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

will not be displayed