Friday, December 20, 2013

Harvard Fined $24,000 For Animal Mistreatment After Monkeys Die

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday said it has fined Harvard Medical School $24,000 for repeated animal welfare violations at its research facilities that resulted in the deaths of four monkeys since 2011.

The government's decision to fine the elite university follows a lengthy probe into mistreatment of primates at its animal research labs in Massachusetts, one of which Harvard announced this year it plans to close.

Harvard Medical School said it found the fine "appropriate" but an animal rights group said it was too small.

The USDA fine cited Harvard for 11 incidents in 2011 and 2012, including several that noted laboratory personnel handling the animals were not properly trained or qualified.


Full story here.
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Iran Claims It Has Fired Second Monkey Into Outer Space And Safely Returned Him To Earth

Iran has sent a second live monkey into space and safely returned him to Earth, the country's state-run news agency reports.

Fargam the space monkey rode a Pajonesh rocket 75 miles up into space before his capsule safely detached and parachuted back to the ground, Iranian state TV said.

The report, which showed the rocket blasting off and then showed the monkey, strapped snugly into a seat, staring at people clapping to celebrate its safe return, added that the launch was Iran's first use of liquid fuel.

Iran frequently claims technological breakthroughs that are impossible to independently verify. The Islamic Republic has said it seeks to send an astronaut into space as part of an ambitious aerospace programme.


Full story here.
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Happy Monkey Day 2013!

Happy Monkey Day!  Once again, Monkey Day arrives.  And once again, it's time to count down the most interesting, the craziest, the most profound monkey (and primate) news stories of 2013! 

So, without further ado, here are your top 10 Monkeys In The News posts of 2013:

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10. Daredevil Gorilla Walks Across Tightrope 


First he was homesick, but Kidogo, a gorilla in Krefeld zoo in Germany, now appears to be enjoying himself with a walk across a tightrope
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9. Chimpanzees Denied 'Personhood' Status By US Courts


Three New York courts have ruled that captive chimpanzees do not count as “legal people,” swatting back an activist group’s bid to grant them legal rights.

The Nonhuman Rights Project had expected to lose this first round of lawsuits, but the group plans to appeal the decisions as a habeas corpus petition, most likely in early 2014.
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8. Indonesian City Trying To End Masked Monkey Shows  


And nightmare plagued children across the city finally slept soundly for the first time in years...

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7. Monkey Makes Medical History After Having a Successful Liver Transplant From A Cloned Pig


A Tibetan macaque has entered the record books after successfully undergoing a liver transplant using an organ taken from a cloned pig.

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6. First Example Of Whispering Observed In Non-Human Primates: Tamarins "Whisper" Around Disliked Keepers


Yes, those monkeys really were whispering about you behind your back!  Now if we could just figure out what the pigeons have been chatting about.

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5. Tiny Tarsier Fossils Unveiled As Earliest Known Primate


The fossil is thought to be the earliest-discovered ancestor of small tree-dwelling primates called tarsiers, showing that even at this early time, the tarsier and anthropoid groups had split apart.

The slender-limbed, long-tailed primate, described today in Nature1, was about the size of today’s pygmy mouse lemur and would have weighed between 20 and 30 grams, the researchers estimate.
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4. Watch World First - Orangutan Birth Captured Live On Camera At Durrell 


Incredible, never-seen-before footage of the "miracle birth" of a Sumatran orangutan was caught live on video by Durrell Staff.

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3. Chimp With TV Remote Chooses Porn Channels


Try not to look so surprised...

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 2. Iran Launches Monkey Into Space

...or did they?

Speculation Over Iran's Monkey Launch As A Fake


Just because they sent up one monkey, and it came back as a different monkey doesn't mean it was a fake.  After all, I'm pretty sure that's how the Fantastic Four got their start, right?!?!  Did anyone check the monkey over for super powers?!?!

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 1. Monkey Tears Off Baby's Testicle And Eats It During Terrifying Zoo Attack


I'm going to just give a you few minutes to re-read that title...and again...and again...
The mother was changing her son's nappy when the animal attacked, ripping off the testicle before dropping it onto the ground.

An elderly man then reportedly picked up the severed appendage but the monkey snatched it from his hand before scampering away and eating it.
Somebody should have warned them:

Monkey Steals A Peach

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Another Monkey Day is here and you are not sure what to do with your self?  Well, how about socializing with some like-minded monkey lovers over at Reddit or Facebook!

And don’t forget, Monkey Day has chosen Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary to be the recipients of our digital love this year! We urge all Monkey Day celebrants and monkey lovers to please spend a minute and visit their website, “like” them on Facebook, if you have the means please donate or sponser one of their monkeys!  Happy Monkey Day’s Eve!!!
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chimpanzees Denied 'Personhood' Status By US Courts

Three New York courts have ruled that captive chimpanzees do not count as “legal people,” swatting back an activist group’s bid to grant them legal rights.

The Nonhuman Rights Project filed three lawsuits on behalf of four chimps in order to win them the right to “bodily liberty.” The group wants the chimps to be moved to a sanctuary where they can live in an environment that resembles their wild habitat, CNN reports.

Founder and President Steve Wise has previously said that the lawsuits aimed to ask ”judges to recognize, for the first time, that these cognitively complex, autonomous beings have the basic legal right to not be imprisoned.”

The Nonhuman Rights Project had expected to lose this first round of lawsuits, but the group plans to appeal the decisions as a habeas corpus petition, most likely in early 2014.


Full story here.
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Friday, December 06, 2013

Study: Fruit-mad South American monkeys eat 50 varieties a day

Researchers say that some monkeys in South and Central America eat as many as 50 different species of fruit a day.

A team from the University of East Anglia said that primate size and diet are closely connected.

They found that mid-sized species including Saki monkeys were the biggest fruit consumers.

Larger primates including Woolly Spider monkeys were more likely to eat leaves and foliage, they said.

The research has been published in the journal Oikos.

The scientists pulled together data from 290 studies of diets in primates in Central and South America spanning 42 years.

They found a clear relationship between animal size and dietary preferences.

Small monkeys such as marmosets and tamarins eat more insects and less fruit.

But as body size increases so does the preference for juicier foods. Species like Saki monkeys can eat between 45 and 50 species of fruit every day, often consuming their "five a day" in a hour of foraging.

Larger animals including Howler monkeys and Woolly Spider monkeys preferred leaves and foliage.

"We found that the diet of medium-sized primates is most likely to be dominated by fruits," said Dr Joseph Hawes, a co-author of the study.

"Smaller monkeys, which have higher metabolic requirements, eat more insects as the provide a high quality source of nutrients and calories," he said.
Rare fruits

And while monkeys are traditionally associated with eating bananas, the researchers found it wasn't the most popular fruit in South and Central America.


Full story here.
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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Team Finds First Evidence Of Primates Regularly Sleeping In Caves

Scientists have discovered that some ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar regularly retire to limestone chambers for their nightly snoozes, the first evidence of the consistent, daily use of the same caves and crevices for sleeping among the world’s wild primates.

The ring-tailed lemurs may be opting to sleep in caves for several reasons, said University of Colorado Boulder anthropology Associate Professor Michelle Sauther, who led the study. While the cave-sleeping behavior is likely important because it provides safety from potential predators, it also can provide the primates with access to water and nutrients, help to regulate their body temperatures during cold or hot weather and provide refuge from encroaching human activities like deforestation, she said.

“The remarkable thing about our study was that over a six-year period, the same troops of ring-tailed lemurs used the same sleeping caves on a regular, daily basis,” she said. “What we are seeing is a consistent, habitual use of caves as sleeping sites by these primates, a wonderful behavioral adaptation we had not known about before.”




Full story here.
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