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Meat-eating is an important aspect of human evolution, but how meat became a substantial component of the human diet is still poorly understood. Meat-eating in our closest relatives, the great apes, may provide insight into the emergence of this trait, but most existing data are for chimpanzees. We report 3 rare cases of meat-eating of slow lorises,(More)
The capacity of nonhuman primates to actively modify the acoustic structure of existing sounds or vocalizations in their repertoire appears limited. Several studies have reported population or community differences in the acoustical structure of nonhuman primate long distance calls and have suggested vocal learning as a mechanism for explaining such(More)
Many animals produce vocal sequences that appear complex. Most researchers assume that these sequences are well characterized as Markov chains (i.e. that the probability of a particular vocal element can be calculated from the history of only a finite number of preceding elements). However, this assumption has never been explicitly tested. Furthermore, it(More)
BACKGROUND Several studies suggested great ape cultures, arguing that human cumulative culture presumably evolved from such a foundation. These focused on conspicuous behaviours, and showed rich geographic variation, which could not be attributed to known ecological or genetic differences. Although geographic variation within call types (accents) has(More)
Culture has long been assumed to be uniquely human but recent studies, in particular on great apes, have suggested that cultures also occur in non-human primates. The most apparent cultural behaviours in great apes involve tools in the subsistence context where they are clearly functional to obtain valued food. On the other hand, tool-use to modify acoustic(More)
The evolution of speech remains an elusive scientific problem. A widespread notion is that vocal learning, underlined by vocal-fold control, is a key prerequisite for speech evolution. Although present in birds and non-primate mammals, vocal learning is ostensibly absent in non-human primates. Here we argue that the main road to speech evolution has been(More)
Call control allows an organism to produce an acoustic signal irrespective of its own underlying emotional state. It is thus a prerequisite to ''higher'' abilities, such as call imitation, innovation and the use of arbitrary or deceptive calls, and therefore to speech. However, among primates, call control is presumed to be greatly confined to humans(More)
Monkey alarm calls have shown that in the primate clade, combinatorial rules in acoustic communication are not exclusive to humans. A recent hypothesis suggests that the number of different call combinations in monkeys increases with increased number of predator species. However, the existence of combinatorial rules in great ape alarm calls remains largely(More)
The evolutionary origins of speech remain obscure. Recently, it was proposed that speech derived from monkey facial signals which exhibit a speech-like rhythm of ∼5 open-close lip cycles per second. In monkeys, these signals may also be vocalized, offering a plausible evolutionary stepping stone towards speech. Three essential predictions remain, however,(More)
One of the most apparent discontinuities between non-human primate (primate) call communication and human speech concerns repertoire size. The former is essentially fixed to a limited number of innate calls, while the latter essentially consists of numerous learned components. Consequently, primates are thought to lack laryngeal control required to produce(More)