Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eee Eee! I'm A Monkey!

We knew that. The question is whether I am an agitated squirrel monkey, a wedge-capped capuchin monkey (I DID get a pretty bad haircut last time, so it might be this one), or a cotton-topped tamarin.

"Watch a video of chimpanzees sometime. Our closest animal relatives love to repeat notes. 'Ooo,' they say. 'Ooo ooo ooo' comes next. It's not just chimps: most primates produce vocalizations in which similar notes are repeated over and over. Agitated squirrel monkeys fill the air with a variety of twitters, chatters, and cackles. Wedge-capped capuchin monkeys deliver hehs and huhs in rapid cadences. The cotton-top tamarins that I studied with Charles Snowdon squeak 'Eee!' when they see a tasty treat like a mealworm, but the one note easily turns into a barrage of 'Eee, eee, eee, eee, eee, eee, eee' as they get more excited."*

One clue: You're going to hear some "Eee eee eee eee eee eee eees" from me if you open a bag of corn chips in my presence.

*From "The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs" by Patricia McConnell**
**I have a dog named Lily.