Animal Primate Analysis

1980 Words8 Pages
Humans have always assumed a fundamental difference between themselves and animals. This fundamental difference is the different use of language. In the past thirty years, this subject has been debated by scientists as they research language use by apes. Claims have been made by some researchers about the linguistic capabilities of their subjects, mostly chimpanzees, these claims have been refuted and supported many times. Dr Sue Savage – Rumbaugh is a researcher who strongly believes in the ability of primates to use language. Savage – Rumbaugh tried and failed to train a bonobo chimpanzee, Mutata, to use a keyboard of symbols. To the surprise of researchers, Mutata’s adoptive son Kanzi, who accompanied his mother to sessions, began to competently…show more content…
The Vervet monkeys have specific alarm calls at the sighting of different predators. Leopards, eagles and snakes each have different alarm calls and the monkeys’ escape behaviour is specifically different for each and is adaptive. The Vervet monkeys demonstrate the most advanced primate system of communication in their natural environment and the alarm call sounds which they produce for communication are instinctive and not learnt. A criticism of this ability is the way it is not possible to test whether the monkeys respond only to the call or to the call and additional stimuli. If a situational stimuli is required then this may not be proof of use of…show more content…
These selections came from a vocabulary of several dozen tokens, each different in appearance to what they were referring to, and it took each chimpanzee hundreds of trials to correctly associate the correct token with the correct referant, eg apple or banana. After this was learnt, Sarah was able to associate other tokens with consistent behaviours, such as negation, name-of and if-then. Sarah was able to learn imperative sentences with grammar eg “Sarah jam bread take” in which the trainer would allow her to take the bread and jam, and Sarah could also learn negative sentences “No Sarah honey cracker take”. Here the trainer would not allow her to take the honey cracker and this in turn eventually suppressed the impulse to take the
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