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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

The Fongoli Chimps of Senegal

A Fongoli chimp. Photo by Frans Lanting, National Geographic. I just stumbled upon this on Twitter (Thanks to DarwinMonkey). It's a National Geographic page about the Senegalese Fongoli chimps, named after the Fongoli stream that runs through the chimpanzee's range. There are videos showing these chimps using tools fishing for termites, hunting a bushbaby and... Continue Reading →

Humans Evolved From Tree Climbers

A research from Duke University by Daniel Schmitt, associate professor of evolutionary anthropology, and Tracy Kivell, a post-doctoral research associate, shows that human evolved from tree climbing ancestors, not from knuckle-walkers. Schmitt and Kivell examined and compared the wrist bones of humans and African apes. Their research, "Independent evolution of knuckle-walking in African apes shows... Continue Reading →

Wild Spider Monkeys use Tools to Scratch Their Body

A Geoffroy's Spider Monkey hanging on the branch. Photo from Primate Info Net. Wild Geoffroy's Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) or Black-handed Spider Monkeys had been documented using tools to scratch themselves, according to a new publication "Tool use in wild spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)". Important to note that spider monkeys do not have thumbs, only... Continue Reading →

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