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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Scientists explore whether some apes shake heads for "no"

Scientists explore whether some apes shake heads for "no":

May 5, 2010
Special to World Science

In communicating with each other, apes known as bonobos sometimes shake their heads—and one of the purposes for which they do this may be analogous to saying “no,” a study has found.

Researchers say the finding could be significant because bonobos are also humans’ closest evolutionary relatives, along with common chimpanzees."

[Yes, there's more! Click the link above to read the rest of the original article at the World Science website. --gdt]

This is one of those articles that may have you shaking your own head as you contemplate the possible universality of the head shake for "no!" in not only all humans but other species!

But I think one has to be careful of the assumptions that are easy to make here. For example, is the head shake for "no" really universal in humanity around the world? Or just in civilized peoples? I'm not really sure if the primitive tribes still extant in places like the Amazon jungle, the jungles of the Congo, or the remote Australian Outback all actually do generally shake their heads "no" in the same fashion that you and I do.

In any case, perhaps this recent research is at least food for thought? I hope!

--The Eclectic, a.k.a. Gary D. Timothy


abitosunshine said...

Shaking head, "yes" as we would like a study on the "yes" side of the shaing of heads..:-)

Blessings & a bit o' sunshine!

The Eclectic said...

Haha! Indeed! I'm shaking my head yes also - that would certainly seem to go hand in hand, or maybe head in hand, with the "no" shake. :-) Thanks for coming by, Ruthi!!