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Amalia Pica Rafael Ortega Pan troglodytes ellioti and cousins 2016 Image by Rob Battersby Installation view at FACT 3

Is it grunting, barking or panting? (2017)

Humans are often defined as the only animal capable of language, yet researchers have recorded a very complex range of animal vocalisations. Some say that these simply reflect the animal’s emotions, such as fear or aggression. Other scholars maintain that animal vocalisations may act as symbols and refer to external things.

In any case, animals tend to develop local dialects and pass them on from generation to generation. In this audio piece, scientists and field assistants in a Nigerian research camp impersonate calls of monkeys and apes.

Courtesy of the artists and Herald St.