Bonobo Monkey Shakes Head to Say "No"

Is shaking one's head to mean "no" solely a human gesture? Perhaps not. This film from the BBC shows a mother Bonobo ape shaking her head at her rascal child to stop it playing with it's food.

Bonobos are already known to use head-shaking to initiate interactions with other members of the group, such as playing.

However, this is the first study to film and observe an ape shaking its head in a negative context to stop or prevent other bonobo behaviour. [...]

The Germany-based scientists observed the behaviour whilst studying bonobos as part of wider study on the communication of great ape infants. Using video recordings they studied the gestures and behaviour of bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans in six European zoos.

During the study, they witnessed four individual bonobos shaking their heads in this way on 13 different occasions.

Previously only anecdotal reports have noted individual chimpanzees shaking their head to signal 'no'.


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by coconutnut.

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Chill out, people. What he/she meant by the post was the interesting fact that bonobos *have* this gesture, which corresponds with many human cultures. He/she didn't mean ALL human cultures. The fact that they have the gesture at all is an interesting coincidence with, say, American/European shaking head to say no. That's all. Come on, just chillax...
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