23andMe's ErinC has a post at the Spittoon about a paper in Current Biology from researchers at the University of Hannover in Germany who studied laughter in humans and apes. The findings indicate that "not only are the hoots, hollers and snorts of the great apes really laughter, but the evolutionary relationships between the sounds match up with the known evolutionary relationships between the species based on genetics," the blog says. That suggests that laughter "can be traced back 10 to 16 million years to our last common ancestor with the great apes," ErinC writes. "Analysis of the chortles of a lesser ape, the siamang, suggests that laughter may be even older."
Laugh It Up, Just Like Your Ancestors Did
Jun 05, 2009