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    Monkeys Are Polite Conversationalists

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Researchers have observed that marmoset monkeys take turns in conversations, much like humans.

    Researchers have observed that marmoset monkeys take turns in conversations, much like humans.

    Unlike many people, marmosets always wait until the one doing the talking is done before they chime in.

    The scientists aren’t convinced that the delay is all about manners, though.


    For the experiment, the monkeys were placed on opposite sides of a curtain.

    It was observed that one would call out and about 5 seconds after it finished, the other would respond.

    That behavior proved to be consistent in 54 trials that in total contained over 1400 calls.

    Adherence to the pattern could be indicative of a couple of things.

    An expert in the field explained, “One is, if you're out of sight of your group members and want to establish contact with another, you only know if you've established that contact if their response is contingent on your own."

    He hypothesized that the other could just be a matter of the marmosets taking time to process and understand the content.

    Ultimately, it’s believed that it’s all about fostering an environment of cooperation, which is essential to survival in their predator-filled natural habitats.