Monkeys are by far our closest ancestors. Of course, there are bananas too which share a surprising amount of DNA with us, but that’s a story for another day. An orangutan has provided scientists excited about the possibility of new way to communicate.
Rocky the orangutan stunned his researchers by emulating human speech. He has learned over 500 sounds that have resembled vowels that we used to communicate every day.
“Our latest findings open up the potential for us to learn more about the vocal capacities of early hominids that lived before the split between the orangutan and human lineages to see how the vocal system evolved towards full-blown speech in humans,” sad an excited Dr Adriano Lameira. She studies at the University of Durham.
Though Rocky can’t speak he has proven to demonstrate a great amount of control over his voice. He’s far beyond a lot of other species in his kind. He was actually able to control the pitch and tone of his voice too. When people talk with a certain kind of tone whether they’re angry or happy, it has an impact. This little monkey has an almost functional mastery of this concept too.
Although a lot of people don’t understand the impact of this discovery, it has been regarded by many as an essential break thru in the realm of evolution. The great apes can achieve levels of education that were previously undocumented.
“A non-human great ape can achieve levels of volitional voice control qualitatively comparable to those manifested in humans.” The research attested that these advancements are meant to be studied and document. Aside from being completely adorable they speak to an increased intelligence among different species besides humans.
It’s been widely documented that the human race isn’t actually that smart anyway. We fight and do stupid things constantly. A lot of the orangutans and apes that are considered our evolutionary cousins are doing much more in the realm of good than we have been lately. So congrats Rocky! This proves that producing speech isn’t just something that has been relegated to humans.