First of all, a big thank you to everyone who voted for me 🙂 Winning I’m a Scientist has come as a big surprise. I’ve had a great couple of weeks working with the scientists, moderators and students in the Animal Behaviour Zone, and will miss the live chats that became a regular part of my day! Also, congratulations to the student winner in our zone. Great questions, Gecko678!
The range of questions was amazing, from technicalities of evolutionary theory to philosophical ideas we’ll probably never know the answer to – some of which I’m still struggling with now! I definitely have a few colleagues who will be applying for the next I’m a Scientist, so keep thinking up those questions… It’s great to see so many students wondering about the same things that got me interested in science when I was at school. I mean, why have we evolved language when baboons haven’t?? Well, bear with me, I’m spending every day trying to find out!
I plan to set up a website where people will be able to listen to baboon vocalisations, and try to work out what they mean. This is actually really interesting as the type of sound that makes humans respond to babies is similar to the sounds that make baboons respond to their babies. Maybe we can understand them more easily than we think! Hopefully, by making the sounds available to everyone, we will get enough data to answer this question, and everyone will have a chance to contribute to evolutionary science 🙂 I’ll be heading back to Nigeria to visit our field site in August, so expect some new sounds and videos online soon after…
Thanks again for all your votes and questions, and hope to see you on the new website soon!