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Laughter evolved in primates 10 million years ago

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posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 05:35 AM
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Our primate ancestors have been laughing for 10m years


Study that involved tickling apes suggests laughter is not a uniquely human trait after all.



The first hoots of laughter from an ancient ancestor of humans rippled across the land at least 10 million years ago, according to a study of giggling primates.

Researchers used recordings of apes and babies being tickled to trace the origins of laughter back to the last common ancestor that humans shared with the modern great apes, which include chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans.

The finding challenges the view that laughter is a uniquely human trait, suggesting instead that it emerged long before humans split from the evolutionary path that led to our primate cousins, between 10m and 16m years ago.

"In humans, laughing is a complex and intriguing expression. It can be the strongest way of expressing how much we are enjoying ourselves, but it can also be used in other contexts, like mocking," said Marina Davila Ross, a psychologist at Portsmouth University. "I was interested in whether laughing had a pre-human basis, whether it emerged earlier on than we did."

www.guardian.co.uk...

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]




posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 07:42 AM
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Good find, aside from the evolutionary implications - it's just quite a nice story...

I'm sure I've seen monkeys laughing at other monkeys and although, I'm no expert on animals I'm fairly confident that dogs and dolphins also have the ability to laugh - I remember as a kid seeing a dolphin show and the dolphins making sure all the first few rows got soaked, they seemed to find this very amusing!



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 
Howdy bud, good thread. I've been reading about monkey/primate laughter for a while now. Seems we branched off from a common ancestor some 50 million years ago irrc. Watching monkey antics on YT shows that they've got a sense of play and humor. Watching human antics on Friday nights shows we're still a bunch of monkeys in clothing


This video is good as it shows monkeys (not primates) using stone tools to break nuts and even launch rocks at a jaguar from a cliff. Between laughter and stone tools, it's like a window into our distant past. These behaviors would probably have been repeated by our ancient ape ancestors...




Watched it? Got a dumb smile on your face? Good


DAMMIT YOUTUBE!! GRRRR!!

[edit on 7-6-2009 by Kandinsky]

[edit on 7-6-2009 by Kandinsky]



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Hey bud-monkeys are indeed fascinating animals (the vid links down though
)

I laughed my socks off when I saw this one

www.youtube.com...

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by jokei
Good find, aside from the evolutionary implications - it's just quite a nice story...

I'm sure I've seen monkeys laughing at other monkeys and although, I'm no expert on animals I'm fairly confident that dogs and dolphins also have the ability to laugh - I remember as a kid seeing a dolphin show and the dolphins making sure all the first few rows got soaked, they seemed to find this very amusing!


Jokei,thanks for the reply-I'm sure your right about those cheeky dolphins.

They seem to having a good time in this clip:
www.youtube.com...

As for the evolutionary implications of laughter in primates ,I think its quite an important one..although I don't know why

Cheers.

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:09 AM
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You maniacs! You blew it up! You blew it all to hell...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I really like threads like this - not quite that "we aren't so special" more that the are other life forms out there that are special too.



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:20 AM
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Not to pee on this thread but I find it hard to beleive that money was actually spent to try to determine when monkeys started laughing, This is just plain stupid.

Monkeys and other animals most likely have displayed emotion since they first appeared on the earth. And even if they didn't who really cares when it started?



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:26 AM
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Originally posted by disgustedbyhumanity
Monkeys and other animals most likely have displayed emotion since they first appeared on the earth. And even if they didn't who really cares when it started?


Well the scientists seem to think the findings are important:


"Our evolutionary tree based on these acoustic recordings alone showed that humans were closest to chimps and bonobos, but furthest from orang-utans, with gorillas somewhere intermediate. And that is what you see in the well-established evolutionary tree of great apes," said Davila Ross. "What this shows is strong evidence to suggest that laughing comes from a common primate ancestor."

Writing in the journal Current Biology, the researchers describe how the earliest laughter-like sounds were shorter and noisier, but with time became longer and clearer as the great apes evolved.

.."The simplicity and stereotypy of laughter provides a valuble tool with which to trace vocal evolution, much as simpler systems of molecular biology are useful for investigating complex life processes," he added.

www.guardian.co.uk...



[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:34 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 
Ziggystar60 explained what to do when a YT vid won't link properly and I've forgotten how she does it. Here it is...

Monkey tool usage:Hammer and Anvil



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:36 AM
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I cannot imagine what could have been so funny 10 million years ago?

Although i suppose with the lack of any decent TV, the primates had to make their own entertaonment.



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by mr-lizard
 


Hope I'm not bringing this thread down and sorry if this is off-topic, but...
probably physical humour - man trips on banana-skin, farts that sort of thing. Babies laugh at their farts.



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Loved that vid - great music too.

Don't think the jaguar was too impressed.

I think they'd appreciate that video over on this thread:
www.abovetopsecret.com...
Cheers.



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by mr-lizard
I cannot imagine what could have been so funny 10 million years ago?.


Maybe they all got drunk and had a good laugh:
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 10:16 AM
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It most probably started when two primates sitting high up in a tree stopped to reflect on their future. One most probably said;
"You know, millions of years from now we'll have evolved into a highly intelligent race of human beings. We'll travel to the moon, build great monuments and will find cures for all of lifes ills. Many of us will live to see man travel to other planets. We'll see a black president, British MPs rob the tax payer of billions of pounds while preaching morals to them. David Icke will convince a certain part of the population that we're governed by lizards while a fat uncouth guy named Alex Jones will threaten to kick the elite in the head. Then to cap it all off, certain people will try to convince people that it will all end in 2012. . . "

At which point the two primates took a last look at one another and plummeted out of the tree after dieing of uncontrolable laughter. . .



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 08:08 AM
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More on cheeky chimps:




Laughter is well documented in common chimpanzees, with observations of both wild and captive chimpanzees revealing that they even share with humans the same ticklish anatomical regions — the armpits and belly.

Chimpanzees are also known to continue enjoying tickling well into adulthood. Among young chimpanzees that have been taught sign language, tickling is a frequent topic of conversation, according to a recent article on the biology of laughter in Discover magazine.

dsc.discovery.com...


Monkey laughs at dog

www.youtube.com...



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by jokei
Good find, aside from the evolutionary implications - it's just quite a nice story...

I'm sure I've seen monkeys laughing at other monkeys and although, I'm no expert on animals I'm fairly confident that dogs and dolphins also have the ability to laugh - I remember as a kid seeing a dolphin show and the dolphins making sure all the first few rows got soaked, they seemed to find this very amusing!


Yep and you are right about dogs. And my cat can't laugh, but he can SURE express his happiness when he sees me do something stupid. The faces he makes let me know what he thinks of me.



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