Researchers have identified the evolutionary changes to our larynx that enables humans to produce the complex sounds necessary for the development of speech, while our primate relatives are unable to do so, despite having similar physical vocal structures. Paradoxically, the changes that occurred didn’t involve an increase in the complexity
Researchers have identified the earliest known primate; a small, squirrel-like mammal that lived nearly 66 million years ago, during the twilight of the dinosaurs. The fossils belonging to this most distant human relative were initially uncovered in the Fort Union Formation in northeastern Montana in the 1980s. Consisting of five
Despite being separated by over 5 million years on our respective evolutionary paths, it appears that nearly 90 percent of the gestures human children use to communicate are shared with those used by chimpanzees. Lacking the capacity for complex verbal speech, the great apes employ a non-verbal language made up of hand and body gestures, whereas humans have well-developed part of the brain called "Broca’s area" that enables us to speak. But before a human child learns to speak a language, they appear to use an ancient gestural language that our ancestors used to communicate with one-another.