Watching and hearing an infant laugh is one of the most wonderful little things in the world. The little ones often remind us that life can really be enjoyable. However, humans are not the only creatures from Earth capable of laughing – we can see this behavior in monkeys, dolphins, chimpanzees, parrots, and more.
But there’s one animal who has laughing patterns that are similar to one of the human infants, according to a new study published in Biology Letters and led by Mariska Kret, who’s an associate professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
The laughter of human infants and great apes is incredibly similar
The study in question found that the laughter of babies that we all love is similar to the one of great apes. The resemblance lies in the fact that both human babies and hominids can laugh during both inhaling and exhaling. As for human adults, we primarily laugh while we are exhaling.
The incredible similarity between infants and great apes comes after Kret analyzed audio samples of babies aged 3 months to 18 months while they were laughing. The listeners were asked to rate how many of those waves of laughter were produced by inhaling and how much by exhaling.
However, Marina Davila-Ross from the University of Portsmouth and who wasn’t involved in the new study, unexpectedly says that the laughter of infants isn’t necessarily similar to the one of all great apes species. Instead, it’s only similar to those great apes that are evolutionary close to the human species, such as bonobos and chimpanzees.
Davila-Ross said, as quoted by CNN:
It seems to reflect that laughter is to some extent biologically deeply grounded.
In the end, we should all keep in mind an old and wise phrase saying that laughing is healthy! Stephen Hawking even once said that life would be tragic if it wasn’t amusing.