Laughter is not peculiar to humans: the apes also laugh when they tickle



Portsmouth, United Kingdom - According to a new study, several species of great apes can laugh, which would mean that we are not the only animals born with this ability.
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After tickled and teased young gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orang-utans, the researchers argue that great apes can laugh. Their findings suggest that these species and humans inherited the ability to laugh at their last common ancestor who lived there 10 to 16 million years.

Marina Davina Ross, primatologist and psychologist at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, led the team that has tickled the neck, feet, hands and underarms of young monkeys and human infants. Result: more than 800 recorded laughter. After analyzing the similarities and differences between the laughter of 5 species, researchers have created a "acoustic tree" of the laughter of men and apes. It corresponds closely to the tree of genetic evolution of primates.

He had already been proven that chimps chuckle, but the way they laugh, both expiring and inspiring, was regarded as very different from that of humans, which expires in only laugh. But the tickle study has shown that gorillas and bonobos also rient only expires. Moreover, “the laughter of the primate starts in a context of play, which is very similar to the human laughter” says Frans de Waal, a primatologist not involved in the study.

Controversial thesis, also induce the tickling of "laughter" in rats. If this is proved, it would mean that laughter is not peculiar to man, nor even that of primates, but the characteristic of mammals.

Watch this Giggling Chimp:


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