Talking with Hands

Studies of chimpanzees suggest that our ancestors may have "talked" to each other using hand gestures before they learned to speak.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM May 4, 2007

Thumbs up. A friendly wave. A threatening fist. All these hand gestures are part of the body language that we use to communicate every day.

Chimpanzees and bonobos, which are sometimes called pygmy chimpanzees, use their hands to convey messages too. And new research shows that these primates are better at communicating with their hands than they are with smiles, frowns, and other facial expressions. Because chimpanzees and bonobos are our closest primate relatives, the discovery may help exp...

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