Teco: Kanzi’s Nephew, A New Chapter in Ape Language Studies

In what ways is Teco similar to Kanzi?

image sourced from apeinitiative.org

Teco and Kanzi share a remarkable bond – not just as uncle and nephew, but also in their impressive language abilities. Here’s how these two bonobos are pushing the boundaries of primate communication:

  • Understanding Spoken English: Both Teco and Kanzi can comprehend spoken English to a significant degree. This allows them to follow instructions and likely grasp conversations happening around them.
  • Lexigram Mastery: They both utilize the lexigram system, manipulating symbols to communicate their needs, desires, and even basic thoughts. Imagine a bonobo pressing a lexigram for “food” and then another for “grapes” – that’s the kind of communication these two are capable of!
  • Early Signs of Promise: While Teco is still young, his initial forays into language use echo Kanzi’s early development. Researchers are enthusiastic about Teco’s potential to replicate or even surpass his uncle’s communication feats.

Next Up: How Teco Differs from Kanzi

The next section will explore the unique aspects of Teco’s development and how it might differ from the path Kanzi took.

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