Chimpanzees are considered as one of the most intelligent animal species. The latest discoveries have revealed some interesting facts about chimps. Scientists have put together a dictionary of chimp gestures.

Chimp dictionary put together by scientists

Chimp dictionary put together by scientists

The dictionary offers meanings for various chimp gestures which can be used for various purposes. Those who are involved in chimp research could get help from the dictionary to understand how chimps communicate using hand and body movements.

A group of researchers at the University of St. Andrews have published the dictionary on the 2nd of this month in the journal Current Biology by primatologists Catherine Hobaiter and Richard Byrne. These two researchers studied at least 80 chimps inhabiting the rain forests of Uganda.

The dictionary is thorough with meanings for the claps, facial gestures, foot stomps, etc of the chimps which they use to communicate with each other. The study aims at determining what the chimps are trying to say to each other through these gestures.

Professor Byrne said in a statement, “There is abundant evidence that chimpanzees and other apes gesture with purpose. Apes target their gestures to particular individuals, choosing appropriate gestures according to whether the other is looking or not; they stop gesturing when they get the result they want; and otherwise they keep going, trying out alternative gestures or other tactics altogether.”
The primatologists set up a home in the rain forests of Uganda where the chimps were videoed. About 4,500 gestures of the chimps were then picked from the videos to which they found meanings for about 66 different gestures.

Some significant gestures include tapping another chimp to tell the other to stop doing what it is doing; slapping an object or flinging a hand to say “move away”, raising an arm to ask some object the other has; etc. Researchers have observed that it resembles human’s way of communication and are involved in further research on it.