Video: How marmoset babies learn to talk

Scientists used to think humans were the only primates who learned to speak, in part, by mimicking mom and dad, but marmoset monkeys have shown that we’re not all that unique in our learned communication. As the fuzzy little marmosets grow up, parents “teach” their babies mature vocalizations, called phees, by responding to their young’s cries with mature phees. Physical growth also helps the transition from baby to adult calls, but the difference in baby and adult noises is so stark that scientists don’t think it’s just physical maturation that makes a mature phee, they report online today in Science. Similar to humans, baby marmosets seem to listen to and learn from their parents, like an audio version of marmoset see, marmoset do.

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