Orangutans Can Beatbox


If orangutans weren’t already the cool friend next door to humans, at least genetically, they surely are now. In a study conducted by the University of Warwick, researchers found that orangutans can make two different sounds at the same time, just like a beatboxer. According to Dr. Adriano Lameira, orangutans have been observed making two different kinds of sounds, called “chomps” and “grumbles,” during fights. Female orangutans in Sumatra were heard warning other orangutans of threats by making a combination of two different sounds, “kiss squeaks” and “rolling calls.” Since this ability to make dual vocals has now been observed in nonhuman primates, a new thought is sprouting… What if early humans used to communicate by vocalizing two different sounds at the same time? Did our ancestors beatbox to communicate?


Copyright @smorescience. All rights reserved. Do not copy, cite, publish, or distribute this content without permission.

Join 20,000+ parents and educators
To get the FREE science digest in your inbox!