As if we didn’t suspect this already, there is now confirmation that the animals are whispering. It’s been officially observed and documented, complete with a paper published to Zoo Biology.
You know they are talking about us.
What are they planning? Those cotton-top tamarins look like punks. This will not end well.
From an article in The Independent:
The first example of whispering by non-human primates has been observed amongst a group of tamarin monkeys in captivity in New York City’s Central Park Zoo.
scientists observed that when a particularly disliked member of zoo staff entered the tamarins’ habitation the primates did not make mobbing calls but instead communicated with one another using “low amplitude vocalizations”.
The research concluded that “the tamarins were reducing the amplitude of their vocalizations in the context of exposure to a potential threat”. In other words the primates – like many humans – felt it was prudent to keep quiet when a disliked or dangerous individual was around.
The zoo keeper in question had been involved in the capture of the tamarins, with the family of five previously exhibiting “a strong mobbing response” in his presence.
this was the first time that whispering has been observed in any non-human primate.
- Monkeys Whisper, Study Says – But Why? (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)
- Monkeys Whisper, Too: Humans Aren’t the Only Primates Who Lower Voices (scienceworldreport.com)
- Research duo discover first instance of non-human primates whispering to each other (phys.org)