A group of biologists led by Dr. Catherine Hobaiter claim they have deciphered 66 different chimp gestures that are intentionally used to communicate about twenty messages to each other. For reference, that only makes them a little better at communicating than me.
Only humans and chimps, she said, had a system of communication where they deliberately sent a message to another individual.
Although previous research has revealed that apes and monkeys can understand complex information from another animal's call, the animals do not appear to use their voices intentionally to communicate messages.
This was a crucial difference between calls and gestures, Dr Hobaiter said.
"It's a bit like if you pick up a hot cup of coffee and you scream and blow on your fingers," she said.
"I can understand from that that the coffee was hot, but you didn't necessarily intend to communicate that to me."
I love how 'flirt with me' is one of their messages. If only it were that easy for humans. I paid $280 for pheromones that were supposed to make me irresistible to women. You know what happened? I got a rash. Plus bit by at least two different spiders that night. Pretty much the exact opposite of what I hoped for. Then when I went to get my money back the guy and his van were gone!
Thanks to E V I L A R E S and Cyndi, who can communicate with all animals telepathically and were made honorary Planeteers by Captain Planet himself.