What do monkeys talk about?

Monkeys exchange information about predators, location of food and social situations.


A lot of species have extremely specific calls that they can use to communicate detailed information about what’s going on around them.

Vervet monkeys have different alarm calls depending on the type of predator approaching so monkeys in earchot can quickly figure out how best to escape. They also give different grunts in to other members of their group depending on their rank, so a dominant individual is greeted differently to a low ranking monkey.


If vervets are discussing a particular threat they will often look at the threat while shouting about it.


Some monkeys use the same calls to convey different information, and the listening monkeys can understand the call by listening to the surrounding sounds.

Diana monkeys participate in vocal chorusing to mark their territory. Their most common calls are simple vocal exchanges while the group is resting, but they also have specific conversation calls that they use when they need to stay close in a group outside their home range.


Diana monkeys speak to each other and with each other in loud choruses to warn others away from their territory.


Maromsets are polite in conversation. They take turns and wait at least five seconds before replying to each other, a trait that is not seen in chimpanzees or other apes. Some researchers think that human communication may be more similar to that of smaller monkeys like marmosets than apes.


Marmosets are more polite than other primates and take it in turns to speak.




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Image from www.flickr.com/photos/stuutje