chimpanzee

Male chimpanzee vocalising in Kibale National Park, Uganda

Eric Baccega/NaturePL

Chimpanzees regularly string many different calls together into sequences, which are often three calls long and sometimes even longer. The finding suggests that the apes are more creative with their vocalisations than previously thought.

It also opens up the possibility of chimps combining calls to create new meanings, a skill thought to be unique to humans – although far more evidence would be required to show this.

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are our closest living relatives. They live in groups of a few dozen individuals and communicate with a mix of …