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Gorilla moms use ‘baby talk’ with infants

LEIPZIG, Germany, June 12 (UPI) — Mother gorillas use a sort of “baby talk” in their facial and hand gestures when communicating with their infants, European researchers say.

Eva Maria Luef from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, filmed 120 hours of footage of gorillas at Leipzig Zoo and two wild animal parks in Britain, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The footage showed adult female gorillas used more tactile gestures than they used with other adults when playing with infants and would “touch, stroke and lightly slap” the young gorillas, Luef said.

"The infants also received more repetition," Luef said.

This motherly communication, or “non-vocal motherese,” helps the infants learn the repertoire of signals they will use as adults when communicating with the rest of the gorilla group, the researchers said.

"It also shows that older animals possess a certain awareness of the infants’ immature communication skills," Luef said.

The research has been published in the American Journal of Primatology.

(Source: upi.com)

Filed under Anthropology Primatology Primates! Gorilla BABEHZ Motherhood Communication

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Primate Portraits

Much like us, our hairier cousins have their own distinct facial features, unique combinations of jawlines, eye shapes, and nasal widths that make them recognizable on sight. But have you ever studied the differences between other primates’ faces?

Photographer James Mollison was struck by how similar great ape facial features are to human features, and wanted to take their portraits for much the same reason you photograph human faces: to gather a sense of identity. He traveled to Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Indonesia to photograph gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans who were orphaned by the bush meat and live pet trades. Seen together with their unique faces and expressions, it’s hard not to see the apes as individuals with their own personalities.

(via loveyourchaos)

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