London: Chimpanzees have more than twice the number of gestures to communicate with one another than previously thought, scientists say.

According to the researchers from the University Of St Andrews in Scotland they have at least 66 different mannerisms that they use to chat.

It was believed that chimps had just 30 distinct gestures, based on observations of animals in captivity.
 
Catherine Hobaiter from St Andrews and her team spent two years in analysing 120 hours of footage of chimpanzees interacting in Budongo Conservation Field Station, Uganda.
 
According to a reliable source, scientists closely studied the animals' mannerisms for repeating gestures and concluded that they have a 'large repertoire'
 
In one piece of footage, a mother gestures for her daughter to climb on her back; in another, a child holds another young chimp's hand to encourage it to play.
 
“We think people previously were only seeing fractions of this,” Hobaiter said.

He also added, “Because when you study the animals in captivity, you don't see all their behaviour.”
 
“You wouldn't see them hunting for monkeys, taking females away on 'courtships', or
encountering neighbouring groups of chimpanzees,” she said.

(Agencies)