The Completed Bonobo Genome

The bonobo genome is sequenced. The letter reporting was recently published in Nature, and is available openly under the title, "The bonobo genome compared with the chimpanzee and human genomes."  Kay Prüfer from the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropologyis the lead author. There are some interesting preliminary comparisons such as: Bonobos and chimps have 99.6% sequence similarity... Continue Reading →

A New Primate Species From Myanmar Points To “Out Of Asia”

In the current early edition of the journal PNAS a new paper raises a suggestion that the common primate ancestor originated in Asia and not Africa through the discovery of a new species. This new 37-million-year-old fossil was discovered in the Pondaung sediment at Thamingyauk locality in Myanmar. The species has been named Afrasia djijidae based... Continue Reading →

Gorilla Baby Talk

Eva Maria Luëf and Katja Liebal of the Free University of Berlin have published in the American Journal of Primatology a new paper documenting the occurrence of motheresein 24 captive lowland gorillas. During a 4 month observation of these gorillas, it was observed that elder gorillas used different gestures to start and stop play. To... Continue Reading →

Foresight & Innovation in a Devious Chimpanzee

A chimpanzee in at the Furuvik Zoo in Sweden is documented to store various projectile object to be thrown at zoo visitors at a later time. The results of this study has been published in PLoS One, "Spontaneous Innovation for Future Deception in a Male Chimpanzee." I think its a pretty fascinating discussion of foresight,... Continue Reading →

Maternal Infanticide and Cannibalism in Moustached Tamarin

Infanticide and cannibalism are two extreme behaviors seen in primates. Though extreme, the persistence of these behaviors in primates suggest that they are adapted for and had evolved to serve different purposes. Infanticide and cannibalism can be considered as both reproductive and survival strategies. Infanticide has always been associated with males killing off the progeny of former dominant males... Continue Reading →

Coquerel’s Sifaka Born at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

On April 13, 2011, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced the birth of an Endangered Coquerel's Sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) making it one of only 50 individuals found in accredited institutions in the United States. Read the press release for more information! The Duke Lemur Center manages the United States' Coquerel's Sifaka population and provides more... Continue Reading →

The Semantics of Vervet Monkey Alarm Calls: Part II – The Experiment

Last week, I blogged about the semantics of alarm calls in vervet monkeys. This post will focus solely on the ingenious experiment by Robert Seyfarth, Dorothy Cheney and Peter Marler (1980) to test whether vervet monkey alarm calls convey information or if these calls were just an uncontrollable auditory response to predators. Their question was simple; would vervet monkey alarm calls... Continue Reading →

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