It’s a big deal. The fact that Rocky can communicate vocally means human ancestors probably could do that much further back in time than we previously thought.
It’s leading researchers to believe our language may have evolved 10 million years ago, not just 2 million.
The research was conducted at the zoo in 2012 by scientist Dr. Adriano Lameira, of England’s Durham University, who was lead researcher. He analyzed Rocky's ability to exert fine and precise vocal control, giving the orangutan a unique capacity to learn new vocalizations.
Dr. Shumaker is a co-author on the publication, as is independent researcher Dr. Madeleine Hardus, Alexander Mielke from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and Dr. Serge Wich from Liverpool John Moores University.
Watch our video for much more and read the full study from "Scientific Reports" below