Have you ever tried food that was so good, that you literally couldn’t help but make sounds while eating it?
It’s something that almost all humans do. After all, we’re willing to bet you’ve probably made noises like “mmm!” or “yum!” at some point in your life (maybe “om nom nom” if you were going a little overboard). It’s our way of acknowledging the tastiness (or lack thereof) of what we’re eating.
Well guess what? It turns out gorillas do the exact same thing.
According to a new study published in the journal Plos One, gorillas “sing” or “hum” when they want to express satisfaction with a meal, or when they want to let other gorillas know that it’s dinner time. But researchers also found the noises are inconsistent. In other words, the gorillas will only make them when consuming certain foods–which may be a testament to how much they’re enjoying the meal.
Ali Vella-Irving, who looks after gorillas at the Toronto Zoo, told New Scientist that in her experience, “Each gorilla has its own voice: you can really tell who’s singing. And if it’s their favourite food, they sing louder.”
Which means a gorilla’s song is basically the animal kingdom’s equivalent to this:
While we’re definitely having some fun with the discovery, scientists say that a gorilla’s hum when eating can teach them more about the development of language in primates, and even the origins of human language.
Now that’s information to salivate over.