KokoFlix Videoblog Archive

Koko's 32nd Birthday Walk

Although Koko was more subdued on her 32nd birthday than on her 31st, she enjoyed her feast foods (especially the new ones) and opening her many gifts and cards, which she spent more time examining than last year. She started the day with her ritual birthday walk, which began at 7:45 AM, and took her from Read more


Koko has a vocabulary of over 1000 signs (American Sign Language) most of which she learned during the first few years of the project. However, she continues to learn (and occasionally invent) new signs, to improve her ability to communicate with her caregivers. In this 1-minute video clip, the sign for"butterfly" Read more

Koko's Brilliant Pink Awarness

Koko is looking at a sign language dictionary and points to the sign "wet" in the book. Penny tries to explain the sign to Koko. Then Penny notices that Koko's tongue is "brilliant pink" (Koko had been drawing with non-toxic marker pens, which she tried to taste). To show Koko how pink her tongue is, Penny brings a Read more

Koko's blow-kiss, fake-sneeze

In this video Koko has just blown a kiss to a caregiver job applicant who was leaving he premises, as Penny enters and asks Koko to demonstrate some of her other pre-fabricated vocalizations. In particular, Penny asks Koko to do her "fake sneeze," which she easily accommodates. Some researchers claim that great apes Read more

Koko's Keyboard

Koko likes to experiment with many forms of art and technology. Though she has primarily dabbled in painting (see her amazing representational Gorilla Art) she has recently taken up an interest in music too. Here Koko tries out a new, flexible, electronic keyboard, and improvises a little tune (music and rhythm) Read more

Koko's Pretend Microphone

In this video, Penny play-acts with Koko, asking her to make believe Penny's pen is a microphone. Koko plays along, and after first kissing the "microphone" does a "huff" vocalization, which she often uses when playing with a telephone or microphone. It seems to be her way of imitating talking — which she clearly Read more

Penny's Insight

This is an excerpt from the introduction to the Meet Koko introduction video. It introduces Project Koko, and features Dr. Penny Patterson, its principle investigator, describing an important insight she gained very shortly after beginning to work with Koko on the first ever interspecies communication study involving Read more

Michael's Story

Michael grew up with Koko; they learned sign language together, they both painted beautifully, and they became like brother and sister. But Michael didn't come to live with Koko until he was 3 1/2 years old. As an infant in Africa, he lost his parents at the hands of poachers, in the illegal bushmeat trade, and Read more

Koko's Grass Whistle

Koko blows over a blade of grass that she holds stretched between her two thumbs, to make a whistling sound. Sometimes she produces a nice high-pitched whistling sound, and sometimes she doesn't. Either way, Koko has fun trying. She even signs "good" to indicate she approves of her efforts. How did Koko learn to do a Read more

Will Koko Teach Baby to Sign?

It's called "cultural transmission" when culturally relevant knowledge is passed from one person to another, or from parent to offspring, or from culture to culture. Will Koko transmit the sign language she learned from our culture to her baby (if we're fortunate enough to help her have one) — without any Read more

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