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BOB HIRSHON (host):
Gibbon dialects…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Many people speak with a regional accent. So do small, southeast Asian apes called crested gibbons. This according to Kurt Hammerschmidt of the German Primate Center and his colleagues. His team found that a gibbon’s bird-like song can be used not only to identify the species, but where it hails from. For instance, this black-crested gibbon is the northernmost species.
[SFX: N. Nasutus]
Other northern species sound a lot like it, but different from southerners, like this white-cheeked gibbon.
[SFX: N. Leucogenys]
Hammerschmidt says there were also regional variations within each species.
So what you can really see is a dialect. So you can see, okay, not only is it a yellow cheeked crested gibbon, but it’s a yellow cheeked crested gibbon coming from a certain place.
I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.