Brazilian Capuchin Stone Tool Use

Researchers from Oxford University, working in Brazil, found new archaeological evidence suggests that Brazilian capuchins have been using stone tools to crack open cashew nuts for at least 700 years. Researchers say, to date, they have found the earliest archaeological examples of monkey tool use outside of Africa. In their paper, published in Current Biology,... Continue Reading →

Mysterious Chimpanzee Stone Throwing Ritual

In the above video you will see a large male chimp approaching a tree. He pauses for a second, then glances around, grabs a huge rock and flings it full force at the tree trunk. We have known about this. Prior studies have shown or provided anecdotes of wild chimpanzees throwing and banging stones in... Continue Reading →

Wild Gorilla Happy Meal Time Songs

Many animals, including chimpanzees and bonobos, have food related calls... But aside from anecdotal reports, there was no evidence of this behavior in gorillas, until now. A new paper in PLoS One documents that the wild western lowland gorillas in the Republic of the Congo sing and hum when eating, as a way to express... Continue Reading →

Do Chimpanzees Understand Death?

  Maggie Koerth-Baker, senior writer for Boing Boing, recently wrote an article in the New York Times reviewing the behaviors of chimpanzees around mortality. She retells the death of a chimpanzee named Pansy, who died in captivity, at the Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in Scotland, about 5 years ago. The death was imminent. Many... Continue Reading →

The Semantics of Vervet Monkey Alarm Calls: Part I

Anti-predatory alarm calls are important  for social animals to alert others of approaching predators. Without the presence of "language", some non-human primates are known to give out different predator-specific alarm calls to alert conspecific. These non-human primates include ring-tailed lemurs (Zuberbühler et al., 1999), white-faced capuchin monkeys (Fichtel et al., 2005), Diana monkeys (Zuberbühler, 1999), Campbell's monkeys... Continue Reading →

Grandmothers Taking Care Of Their Granddaughters: Japanese Macaques

Japanese researchers observed two separate cases of grandmothers taking care of their granddaughters. The catch is, these grandmothers are free-ranging Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) and the researchers think that this is the first observed behavior in nonhuman primates that would support the "Grandmother Hypothesis". The Grandmother Hypothesis posits that female's post reproductive lifespan is reflected... Continue Reading →

Behavioral Synchronization In Chacma Baboons

There is a newly published paper by Andrew J. King and Guy Cowlishaw on factors that promote or constrain group synchronization among Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in central Namibia. The paper "All together now: behavioural synchrony in baboons" is available online as pdf for free. Female and infant Chacma baboon (Papio ursinus). Flickr photo from... Continue Reading →

Chimps Mourn The Death Of Their Own

    A picture is worth a thousand words. So, I'm gonna just let the photo do most of the talking. Ever since this photo was published it has gone viral everywhere. Read about this news story at National Geographic and an in depth explanation of the photo here.   Originally posted on The Prancing... Continue Reading →

Chimpanzees: Ask And You Shall Receive

A new study published by Shinya Yamamoto, Tatyana Humle and Masayuki Tanaka on PLoS ONE found that chimpanzees willing to help one another. All they have to do is ask. Using two tool-use scenarios (a stick tool-use and a straw tool-use), both chimpanzees were placed in adjacent booths with non-corresponding tools. The chimpanzee in a... Continue Reading →

Contagious Yawning in Chimpanzees

Animation of chimpanzee yawning from Emory University. Illustration from BBC News. I'm sure we are all familiar with this scenario: Someone yawns and we would "catch" it or vice versa. This is the phenomenon of contagious yawning. A new paper from The Proceedings of The Royal Society "Computer animations stimulate contagious yawning in chimpanzees" suggests... Continue Reading →

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