Gorillas Sing “Little Food Songs” When They Eat

Photo Credit: Pixnio

A German scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology who was working in the Republic of the Congo recently reported that gorillas hum and sing while they eat.

Yummy songs, if you will.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Eva Luef, primatologist from the institute based in Seewiesen, Germany, studied two families of western lowland gorillas in Congo, and identified the two types of sounds.

While calls regarding food have been observed from chimpanzees, this behavior has never before been officially recorded in gorilla study.

Two different types of sounds have now been observed coming from dominant silverback males at meal time. One is a low hum that may show contentment or happiness. You can listen below:

The other sound–a short series of notes like a song–may be used to call other members over to the food. You can listen below:

Since the males are the leaders, they are the ones that call family over for dinner. It appears to be the males’ way of holding on to their females and keeping them fed and happy. Luef also observed the songs are made up by the big males for each meal time, rather than being the same tones repeated.

More chimps make the nom-nom sounds–not just the dominant males. This may be because chimpanzees have a much more fluid society when it comes to who hangs with whom.

Photo Credit: Pixnio

Researchers think they may have found a clue into how language among humans evolved. Because of the variation in the songs, food calls may have been a start to the way early humanity communicated.

Because no species can evolve on an empty stomach.