Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Bonobos use finger-pointing, hand gestures to communicate
by Brooks Hays
Luikotale, Democratic Republic Of Congo (UPI) Sep 11, 2015

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Referential communication is a key component of human communication. New evidence suggests the evolutionary roots of pointing and pantomiming may lie with our ape ancestors, particularly the bonobo.

According to new research, conducted by a team of scientists from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Germany's Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, female bonobos consistently contextualize their vocal communication with referential gesturing.

The observed gestures among bonobo colonies takes two forms -- pointing and pantomiming. In observing wild bonobos at field sites in the Congo's Luikotale forests, scientists found the ape's gesturing was used to communicate a desired social goal.

Over the course of three years, researchers say pointing and pantomiming (acting out a desired action) were always used in the context of socio-sexual interactions between females. Genital-to-genital contact is common among female bonobos as a strategy for easing tensions and encouraging social cohesion.

Female bonobos were observed regularly using gestural communication to initiate socio-sexual interactions. Most socio-sexual communication and touching happens prior to feeding. In documenting the behavior, researchers observed that a gesturer and her partner were more likely to remain close and feed together after socio-sexual interaction than were females who in rare cases denied the gestural advances of another.

Scientists, whose paper is published in the journal Scientific Reports, say there is more work to be done to understand whether bonobos are aware of their own symbolism.

"What remains to be explored is whether bonobos have mental representations when they produce these gestures, and whether females who respond to gestures understand the referential or iconic content of the signals," researchers wrote.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Ancient human shoulders reveal links to ape ancestors
San Francisco (UPI) Sep 9, 2015
As one new study shows, the ape-like shoulders of early humans highlight the transition from trees to tools. Humans evolved from apes. That much is certain. But zeroing in on the evolutionary link between human and monkey isn't easy. Now, new research suggests humans and apes shared an ape-like ancestor farther back along the primate lineage. The revelations may explain some of t ... read more

Big China payouts for Tianjin firefighters' families

EU chief calls human traffickers 'murderers', urges crackdown

France Nears Completion of Chernobyl Steel Confinement Structure

France cash pledge for persecuted Mideast minorities

Billie Holiday to return to New York stage -- by hologram

Half diamond, half cubic boron, all cutting business

Customizing 3-D printing

DNA-guided 3-D printing of human tissue is unveiled

Ocean acidification weighing heavily upon marine algae

Activists find Taiwanese ship with 'illegal' shark fins: Greenpeace

Pacific leader warns Australia on climate stance

Could tiny jellyfish propulsion drive design of new underwater craft

US icebreaker reaches North Pole

Icebreaker Healy first U.S. surface ship to reach North Pole on its own

New clues as to how crew survived 1813 shipwreck in Alaska

Reconstructing a vanished bird community from the Ice Age

Fourth wheat gene is key to flowering and climate adaptation

EU lawmakers want full animal cloning ban

Crop rotation boosts soil microbes, benefits plant growth

Plants also suffer from stress

Tropical storm Henri forms in the Atlantic: forecasters

Typhoon Etau slams into Japanese mainland

Hundreds trapped as floods sweep Japan

Typhoon Etau barrelling toward Japanese mainland

Sudan police break up Omdurman protest with tear gas: witnesses

Horse ban in NE Nigeria after Boko Haram attacks

US dentist who killed Cecil the lion breaks silence

Algeria power struggle intensifies with arrest, sackings

A one-million-year-old monkey fossil

Ancient human shoulders reveal links to ape ancestors

Did grandmas make people pair up?

New film aims to capture 'Human' experience

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.