Gibbon it All the Chat!
White handed gibbons communicate in a similar way to early man, new research has revealed.
In a study carried out by Angela Dassow and Michael Coen at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, these small graceful apes were found to use 26 sounds or words to communicate in complex ways, previously thought exclusive to humans.For keepers at Drusillas Park, East Sussex this is not a complete surprise; they look after four gibbons at the zoo and the group love nothing more than a good old gas.
The distinctive whopping of their early morning chorus is audible up to half a mile away and is one of the most beautiful sounds imaginable. Dominant male, Ulu and his female companion Tali perform a duet most days, with their four year old son Sholo joining in the harmonies wherever possible.
The family also call to each other throughout the course of the day, such as while playing, grooming each other or at feeding times.
However, for the youngest member of the family it is all a bit much for now. At just six months old, Pudsey is just starting to mimic his parents and attempt some basic vocalisations; it will be some time yet before he has mastered the full language of the gibbons.