Ha-Ha! Ape study traces evolution of laughter

By | June 4, 2009

988lol-gorilla.jpg image by Alacardian When scientists set out to trace the roots of human laughter, some chimps and gorillas were just tickled to help. Literally.

That’s how researchers made a variety of apes and some human babies laugh. After analyzing the sounds, they concluded that people and great apes inherited laughter from a shared ancestor that lived more than 10 million years ago.

Experts praised the work. It gives very strong evidence that ape and human laughter are related through evolution, said Frans de Waal of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta.

As far back as Charles Darwin, scientists have noted that apes make characteristic sounds during play or while being tickled, apparently to signal that they’re interested in playing.

via Ha-Ha! Ape study traces evolution of laughter – Yahoo! News.

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