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February 15, 2014 AT 1:40 PM
Some animals, like humans, can sense and respond to a musical beat, a finding that has implications for understanding how the skill evolved, scientists said on Saturday. A study of bonobos, closely related to chimpanzees, shows they have an innate ability to match tempo and synchronize a beat with human experimenters. For the study, researchers designed a highly resonate, bonobo-friendly drum able to withstand 500 pounds of jumping pressure, chewing, and other ape-like behaviors. Patricia Gray, a biomusic program director at University of North Carolina in Greensboro said "Bonobos are very attuned to sound. They hear above our range of hearing."