Gorilla Group Size & Dynamics Mimic Human Group Size & Dynamics

A study was published several days ago in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B examining the social relationships among 13 mountain gorilla groups in Rwadna over 12 years. Typically, mountain gorillas have social groups of 12 to 20 individuals. A group of this size often yields the most diversity in relationships. Mountain gorillas... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

Right-Handed Bias & The Origins Of Communication

I spent a couple years studying non-verbal communication in gorillas, so to read news that there's some breakthroughs in our understandings handedness and communication in apes made me extremely excited. The news originates from Gillian Sebestyen-Forrester's latest paper in the journal Animal Behaviour, "A multidimensional approach to investigations of behaviour: revealing structure in animal communication... Continue Reading →

Are you smarter than Ayumu the chimp?

Last month Ayumu and five other chimpanzees made the news because of their outstanding cognitive performance. They even beat out college students in their tests. The results of the study was reported in Current Biology, "Working memory of numerals in chimpanzees." If you don't believe me check out the video of Ayumu rocking the test:... Continue Reading →

Sue Savage-Rumbaugh’s TED Talk on Bonobos

The following video is a bit dated, it's from 2004... but still I'm sharing it with you because it is very informative and rare. The video is of  Susan Savage-Rumbaugh's TED talk, in which she presents human traits and behaviors in bonobos, specifically the bonobo that made her famous, Kanzi.

Rest in Peace Washoe

I've been unable to post on a lot of important primatology news as of late, I'll try to catch up this weekend. But I'm making time to quickly announce that Washoe has died. She was 42 years old and one of the first apes that was taught sign language, about 300 signs. She was known... Continue Reading →

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