Chimpanzees Console A Bereaving Mother

Zoë Goldsborough, of Utrecht University, and crew have published an open access special feature in the journal Primates. Their paper documents the observation of chimpanzees consoling a bereaving chimpanzee mother who experienced a still birth. This is a fantastic study that builds on our prior knowledge that chimpanzees do mourn the death of a group member... Continue Reading →

On Fongoli Chimpanzee Survival Strategies & Implications of Early Human Evolution

The Fongoli savanna in southeast Senegal offers a unique ecosystem. Temperatures can rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit with brush fires sweeping across. The chimpanzees who live on these savannas weren't well understood. Erin Wessling at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology studied these chimpanzees. She compared these chimps to forest chimpanzees. The Fongoli savanna... Continue Reading →

A New York judge has granted two research chimps the writ of habeas corpus — a move that allows them to challenge their detention. The decision, says Science magazine, effectively recognizes chimps as legal persons, marking the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been given that right.

Katie Slocombe from the University of York observed that before integrating the two different groups of chimpanzees, each produced different grunts for "apple," and after the integration, she noted that the new group members adapted their grunts to the ones produced by the chimpanzees already living there, “Three years after the integration, the grunt calls of... 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 Possibility Of Full Protection For Chimpanzees Under The Endangered Species Act

For as long as I've been alive, wild chimpanzees have been “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Captive-born chimps, however, have only been classified under the lesser class of “threatened.” Dan Ashe, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), announced today that the loophole that exempted captive-bred chimpanzees from the full... Continue Reading →

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 →

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