Did you know that Monkeys have Different Dialects?

Yes, you heard it right! Researchers at University of Zurich have come up to the conclusion that Marmoset Monkeys are capable to learn new dialects when join a new troop. Doesn’t that sound strange? I didn’t know monkeys have dialects at the first place?!

Silver Marmoset Monkey
Image: http://www.birdphotos.com/

What are Marmoset Monkeys?

These are small monkeys with long tail, that live in the South America forests. Their size varies from 12 cm (the pygmy marmoset) to 23 cm (the Goeldii’s marmoset). Marmoset monkeys live on top of the trees and behave mostly like squirrels. But, when it comes to the composition of their body, they are close to human bodies. Marmoset Monkeys pertain to one of the most primitive monkeys. They live in groups of 4 – 15 members, called ‘troop’. Marmoset monkeys are monogamous and this is the reason the new males of the troops decides to get separated by the group and to join new troops, searching for female partners.

Monkeys use ‘calls’ as way to communicate with their mates. Researchers of Zurich University found out that when a marmoset monkey joins a new troop they change the way they call, by being adapted to the calls of the new troop. Scientists name these calls as ‘dialects’ and based on their studies they concluded that dialects are social elements among Marmosets monkeys, which are taught after birth; the same applies for us humans. We learn to speak two years after being born and learn new languages when moved to new places. Scientists believe this discovery could serve as a path to understand the origin of the human languages.

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Featured image: Don Faulkner [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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