The 2017 edition of World Environment Day aims to promote a more conscious and healthier relationship with the environment, highlighting the fragile beauty of nature and our dependence on it.
Gorillas hum and sing while they eat
Sembra che cantare sia per i gorilla un modo di esprimere soddisfazione per il loro pasto. Questa scoperta potrebbe aiutare a far luce sull’evoluzione del linguaggio nei primi esseri umani.
In the thick and verdant rainforests of Congo, curious, sweet and primordial singsongs are heard at dinnertime. They’re composed by gorillas. A new study shows that western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) sing and hum while eating.
These melodies represent their way of expressing satisfaction of what they’re eating. This form of communication is also used by leaders to announce it is mealtime to other family members. A similar behaviour was observed among other apes, including chimpanzees and bonobos, but aside from reports from zoos, there was no evidence of it in gorillas.
In order to find out if gorillas actually hum in the wild, Eva Luef, anthropological linguist, phonology and neurolinguistics expert at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology of Seewiesen, Germany, tracked two wild western lowland gorilla populations in the Republic of Congo.
The researcher identified two different types of calls made by gorillas during eating. One of them was humming, a steady low-frequency tone that sounds a bit like a sigh of contentment, as Luef reported. “They don’t sing the same song over and over,” she said. “It seems like they are composing their little food songs.”
“Each gorilla has its own voice: you can really tell who’s singing,” said Ali Vella-Irving, who looks after gorillas at Toronto Zoo in Canada. “And if it’s their favourite food, they sing louder.” While every individual in the zoo sings for its supper, Eva Luef found that in the wild generally only dominant silverback males sing and hum while eating.
It is thus thought that humming and singing is a way dominant males use to inform the group that mealtime is continuing and it is not yet time to move on. According to Eva Luef, this discovery could help shed light on how language has evolved in our ancestors.
Dal guardiacaccia che protegge i gorilla nel Parco dei Virunga, al piccolo agricoltore che lotta contro una miniera. Ecco chi sono i sei eroi dell’ambiente del 2017.
A silent war is going on in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing the last endangered mountain gorillas and rangers who try to protect them.
A causa della caccia e della guerra civile in Congo questa specie è ora classificata “in pericolo critico” dalla Lista rossa della Iucn.
On World Environment Day, find out which species’ very survival is threatened by the illegal wildlife trade.
Actors, scientists, politicians, activists. All driven by a single purpose: the protection of our Planet and environment. Because we’ve just one Earth.
New study shows that over-hunting is dramatically contributing to large herbivores populations decline, just like 11,000 years ago.
“La distruzione del nostro pianeta continua ad un ritmo che non possiamo più permetterci di ignorare”, ha dichiarato l’attore.
Secondo i dati diffusi dal Wwf le popolazioni di gorilla si sono ridotte dell’85 per cento negli ultimi 65 anni.