Thursday, September 07, 2006
Such mimicry has previously been seen only in great apes - including humans and chimps - but now Italian researchers have recorded wonderful footage of the phenomenon in newborn rhesus macaques.
Human newborns have a known capacity to mimic certain specific adult facial expressions, including mouth opening and tongue protrusion. The so-called imitation period lasts up to three months in human infants and two months in chimps. [New Scientist News: Chimpanzee, Behavior]
The above report contains links to two videos: "Old Macaque Infant Imitating Mouth Opening" and "Old Macaque Infant Imitating Tongue Protrusion".
Based on the open access PLoS Biology paper "Neonatal Imitation in Rhesus Macaques" which contains a third video "Lip Smacking Exchanges in a Naturalistic Setting between Mother and Infant Macaques".
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