Friday, January 16, 2015


She may not look like a celebrity, but Tilda is making a name for herself by babbling in human sounds (VIDEO HERE). Born in the wilds of Borneo, she has spent most of her life in captivity – now at the Cologne Zoo in Germany – during which time she has picked up many human-like means of communication. She waves her hands and shakes her head like a person, and came to the attention of founder of the Pongo Foundation Adriano Lameira when he was studying orangutans that whistle. He describes, "We were waiting for the whistles and suddenly she started to do these bizarre calls. She was producing these calls repeatedly and really quick. And this is also what we observe in humans while we are speaking to each other. We are, on average, producing five consonants and five vowels per second." The research suggests that our human ancestors had the ability to produce speech before they developed a modern vocal tract and brain.

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