Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Monkeying around

Only humans 'use laughter to mock or insult others' says this article (though I'm not sure if the claim is well-supported, at least based only on what's written here).

Researchers carried out "tickling sessions" on gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans and compared the sounds to recordings of humans laughing.

"How was work today, dear?"
"You know, the usual. Went to a meeting, analyzed some data, tickled a couple of apes."

And it's not just apes:

The researchers also found that other animals, including bats, made different sounds when they were tickled, but that these may not be the same as laughter.