one green planet
one green planet

A new study finds that chimps and bonobos can signal “hello” and “goodbye” to one another in social situations. This unique behavior is the first time it has ever been discovered outside of human interactions, but it makes sense since apes share 99% of our DNA.

Researchers wrote “Our findings show that two species of great apes habitually go through the same process and stages as humans when establishing, executing and terminating joint actions” of hi and bye.”

The study was published in the journal iScience.

The study also indicated that apes do not exchange verbal communication in greeting and parting; instead, they had nonverbal cues, similar to humans’ nonverbal cues. These gestures often included holding hands, butting heads, gazing at one another, or touching. 

The study involved analyzing 1242 interactions at zoos between chimps and bonobos. It showed that the bonobos communicated “hello’’ and ‘’goodbye’’ signals much more than chimpsThe research also discovered that interactions between chimps and bonobos that were closer in a relationship were often shorter.

“When you’re interacting with a good friend, you’re less likely to put in a lot of effort in communicating politely,” said study lead researcher Raphaela Heesen, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of psychology at Durham University in the United Kingdom

This interesting observation of how apes communicate is yet another similarity between them and us.

Raphaela Heesen said, “Behavior doesn’t fossilize. You can’t dig up bones to look at how behavior has evolved. But you can study our closest living relatives: great apes like chimpanzees and bonobos. Whether this type of communication is present in other species will also be interesting to study in the future.”

Related Content:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily. Subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!