09/23/2012 10:56 am ET

Apes Love Slapstick Humor: Study

It turns out apes might be big fans of the "Three Stooges."

"The use of language-based jokes is clearly unique to humans," Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Oxford and co-author of the study told Discovery News. "There is some suggestion that apes 'play practical jokes' or laugh at another's misfortune, such as the banana skin situation, but these are only casual observations."

And apes aren't the only animals who like a good laugh.

"Bonobos in particular use laughter a lot in play contexts, even among adults," Dunbar said. "What seems to have happened is that humans have taken these monkey/ape play vocalizations and tweaked them and increased the frequency of their use."


Animals In The News