A talking monkey seems like a thing of science-fiction, cartoons, and goofy advertisements. But new research suggests monkey speech may be closer to reality than commonly thought.
Macaques actually have vocal anatomy capable of human-like speech, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances.
"This suggests that what makes people unique among primates is our ability to control the vocal apparatus, not the apparatus itself," Thore Jon Bergman, an evolutionary biopsychologist at the University of Michigan who was not part of the research, writes in an email to The Christian Science Monitor.
Researchers studying non-human primates had previously hypothesized that the shape, size, or structure of the vocal anatomy in the animals' heads might be holding them back from making the sorts of sounds that make up human speech. To test this idea, scientists decided to look at the vocal anatomy itself.
Read the full article "Why can't monkeys talk like us? Their vocal tract might not be the problem." at CSMonitor.com.