Babies who are too young to talk can still communicate with other babies, form friendships and even crack jokes to each other, researchers have discovered.
According to scientists from Charles Sturt University in Australia, babies aged six to 18-months were able to 'talk' to each other through gestures like noises, humour and shared play during a series of tests.
Researchers came to their conclusion after strapping tiny cameras to babies heads for 10 to 15 minutes to offer a 'baby's eye view' of the world. The babies’ actions were analysed and the results surprised researchers.
"We were very, very surprised to see just how sophisticated they were in terms of their social skills, their helping skills, in making sure they were inviting other children to be part of their group," professor Jennifer Sumsion from the study, said in a statement.
Researchers spotted babies playing "little social games you wouldn’t necessarily see unless you were looking very closely", added professor Sumsion.
These include practical joke type of behaviour, like pretending to hand over a toy and then snatching it away at the last minute and switching bottles around on a high chair to confuse their friend.
They also discovered touching moments between babies, for example, a one-year-old girl was seen comforting a baby who was frightened by covering her with a see-through fabric sheet.
Professor Sumsion said that researchers were surprised to see that babies "were much more capable at a young age than we had anticipated".
This survey follows another recent study that babies should know at least 50 words by the time they reach two, after research revealed that 8% of babies were ‘late talkers’.
Other related research includes the evidence from researchers at Florida Atlantic University that found babies learn to speak through lip-reading, not just hearing and even through their parents 'baby babble'.
If you ever needed proof that babies crack jokes and communicate before they can talk, this video would be it…