scientists investigate several aspects of chimpanzee
learning, including the possibility that certain behaviors
are handed down through chimp generations. Although
chimps do not have a sophisticated spoken language,
they can communicate through calls and vocalizations.
Jane Goodall identified dozens of different calls including
barking, hooting, screaming and grunting. Although most
calls seemed to be linked to a single emotion, some
communicated two or more states of mind. Through this
communication, the social structure of the group and
the needs of individuals are expressed and addressed.
activity page will offer:
introduction to chimp communication
list of chimp emotions with their associated calls
opportunity to analyze and explore canine communication
operational definition of vocalizations such as grunts and
you ready to participate in a field study of animal behavior?
Our subjects will be dogs. But don't worry - you won't have
to go out and watch these canines. We'll develop our field
study from the observations and interactions you've already
Body Looks (Communicating
Through Body Language)
- Describe how a dog's tail communicates different states
of emotion. Identify each state and describe the position
and movements of the tail. How does the tail respond as
the animal's state of mind changes from fear to apprehension
to acceptance to enjoyment?
- Describe how a dog's posture communicates different states
of emotion. Identify a stance and describe how this particular
posture communicates an emotion. Use the space below to
sketch the animal's posture.
- Describe how the hairs on a dog's back and neck can communicate
different states of emotion.
out the table below. It presents a list of chimp emotions
and their associated vocalization. Some calls use a single
sound, while others are more complex since they are formed
by the combination of basic vocalizations. As you review this
list, produce each of the chimp vocalizations.
of body contact
- Examine the emotions presented on the list above. Which
of these states do you think are experienced by dogs?
- Make a list of dog emotions based upon the chimp emotions
illustrated on the left side of the chart. Are there ANY
additional emotions not included in this list? If so, what
are they? Include these additional emotions in your list.
- Examine your list of dog emotions. From your experience,
identify any vocalizations associated with these states.
Describe and distinguish each call as shown for the chimp
vocalizations presented in the right hand column of the
Your ability to produce advanced sounds arises from the sculpturing
of sound by your tongue and facial musculature. Without these
muscles, your sounds would be limited. Have you ever tried
producing sounds using these muscles? Recite the vowels a,
e, i, o and u. As you recite them, be aware of your tongue's
position. Also take note of how your lips and mouth change
to produce each distinct sound. Now, sink your tongue to the
bottom of your mouth and keep it still.
- Keep your lips in the same open position as well. Recite
the vowels. What
- Keeping your tongue and lips immobile, try making different
types of calls. What are some samples of the different sounds
you can generate?
- Compare and contrast your limited sound ability with the
calls generated by chimps?
of downloadable primate sounds
and great ape language resources on the net
on the evolution of language from hand gestures
activities in this guide were contributed by Michael DiSpezio,
a Massachusetts-based science writer and author of "Critical
Thinking Puzzles" and "Awesome Experiments in Light & Sound"
(Sterling Publishing Co., NY).
Academic Advisors for this Guide:
Corrine Lowen, Science Department, Wayland Public Schools,
Suzanne Panico, Science Department, Fenway High School, Boston,
Anne E. Jones, Science Department, Wayland Middle School,