Posts Tagged: monkeys

Monkeying Through Literature

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For The Millions, Daniel O’Malley examines the appearance of monkeys in literature, dividing them into two categories: “the first involves stories that feature monkeys as prominent characters or focal points”; and the second, the one he is “most interested in,” concern “stories that don’t ask so much of their monkeys, stories that could arguably exist without these animals and suffer no serious loss of esteem.”

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The Evolution of Language

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How did humans learn to talk, anyway?

Vervet monkeys use different words (or, at least, “different alarm calls to refer to different types of predators, such as snakes and leopards”) but don’t arrange them into diverse kinds of sentences. Songbirds, meanwhile, create elaborate sentences with a variety of notes, but the notes don’t act as words the way the monkey alarm calls do.

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