Humans, monkeys and apes have more or less evolved in almost the same way. The many anatomical similarities have always been noted, making people wonder why humans have evolved differently from monkeys and apes. A study says that the differences in thinking limit monkeys and apes from speaking.
For a long time, many have thought that monkeys and apes couldn't speak because of a difference in anatomy between the human's vocal organs from that of monkeys and apes. Monkeys and apes can make vocal sounds, but not speech. Humans on the other hand can make both vocal sounds and speech.
A study made on the vocal tracts of monkeys however shows that there are actually few differences between humans and monkeys. The international team of researchers was led by Tecumseh Fitch from the University of Vienna and Asif Ghazanfar from Princeton University. In the study it was found out that monkeys have a much more flexible vocal tract than thought so before.
The study focused on macaque monkeys, according to the University of Vienna's site. To look into the monkeys' vocal tracts, x-ray video was used. Through it the researchers have found that the mouth and throat of the macaque monkeys. After that they made a computer model of the vocal tract. Through the computer model the researchers then used it to see if vocalization and speech could be made.
Through the research it has been shown that if a human brain controls the vocal tracts monkeys could make sounds, enough to make a speech pattern, as Science Daily reports. This shows that the vocal tracts of monkeys and humans have similarities enough that speech can be made. However, monkeys cannot speak the way humans can. The researchers theorize that brain development might be the difference between humans and monkeys.
Humans have a developed brain for speech. The part that control's speech is called Broca's Area. This is the portion of the human brain that controls speech production. For humans, this area is more developed and is likely less developed for monkeys and apes.
Humans, monkeys and apes have more or less the same anatomical features. Humans though have developed a more complex brain. This is why differences in thinking limits the monkeys and apes from speaking. A study of the human brain also shows it sleeps and wakes all the time.