Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Monkeys Can Hack Each Other’s Grammar

Monkeys Can Hack Each Other’s Grammar
Language is one thing we do not share with other primates. While we humans have the ability to form words, our close relatives lack such finally tuned vocal control. Instead, like the majority of other animals, primates have evolved complex methods of conveying information, which range from grunts to body language to smell.

Now it seems that some species of monkey not only adjust the meanings of their calls using a simple grammatical trick, but other species know how to "translate" those calls to hack their neighbors' predator warning system. The finding hints at a universal system of communication among some monkeys that includes some of the basic tools of human language.



Full story here.
-----------------------------------------

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monkey Dropkicks Young Man After Flashing The Middle Finger At The Primate



Newly posted security camera footage, purportedly from the monkey-laden city of Shimla in Northern India, shows a primate teaching a young man a lesson: Animals don’t like being flicked off, either.

A couple of guys walk past the monkey in a market area of the capital city of the Himachal Pradesh state and the former British Raj summer capital in the video.

But, rather than passing by the animal like other pedestrians in the video, one of them motions at the monkey, causing it to jump up on a crate for a better view.


Full story here.
-----------------------------------------

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chimps Given Human Rights By U.S. Court For The First Time


On Monday, a New York judge granted two chimpanzees a writ of habeas corpus. In other words, the chimps have the right to a day in court -- under a law that only applies to people.

This isn't coming from nowhere: The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) has been trying to get chimps the rights of personhood for years. They represent the animals in court, arguing that their living situations -- as pets or performers -- should be considered as unlawful as the inhumane detention of a human.

Previous cases in the United States have failed to produce such a result, but in December an Argentinian orangutan won her case (which was of course actually brought to the court by animal rights activists) and was moved from a zoo to a sanctuary.


Full story here.
-----------------------------------------

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wild Chimps Look Both Ways Before Crossing Roads



In a 29-month survey, researchers observed and recorded 20 instances of wild chimps crossing a busy road in Sebitoli, in the northern part of Uganda's Kibale National Park. They watched 122 chimps cross the highway used by 90 vehicles an hour, many speeding at 70 to 100 kilometres an hour.

It's the first report on how chimpanzees behave crossing a very busy asphalt road, says Marie Cibot of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. "We've described chimpanzee behaviour facing a dangerous situation never described before," she says, pointing out that earlier studies looked at narrower, unpaved and less busy roads.


Full story here.
-----------------------------------------

Gorilla Races Toward Girl, Cracks Zoo Exhibit Glass, Goes Viral



The footage, shot at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha on Thursday, begins by showing a little girl’s reflection as she pounds her chest. Soon, a gorilla in the enclosure races toward the glass and pounds it, leaving the glass cracked and sending people running.

“There was never any danger that the gorilla was going to get out or that people were going to get hurt,” the zoo’s general curator, Dan Cassidy, told The Post on Friday.


Full story here.
-----------------------------------------

1st Photo of Rare Monkey Proves It's Not Extinct

An African monkey thought to be extinct has been spotted again by researchers, who returned from a remote Congo forest in March with the first-ever photos of the rare red primate.

Until this year, scientists hadn't seen the Bouvier's red colobus monkey in the wild since the 1970s. The small primate lives in groups in swampy forests along the Congo River, in the Republic of the Congo. Hunting and logging decimated its population, leading some scientists to suggest the monkey was extinct.

Now, independent explorers have rediscovered the rare monkey. The researchers, Lieven Devreese of Belgium and Gaƫl Elie Gnondo Gobolo of the Republic of the Congo, set off in February to track down the elusive species. Their expedition was supported by donations collected through the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, and funding from the Wildlife Conservation Society.


Full story here.
-----------------------------------------

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Inbreeding Makes Mountain Gorillas Genetically Healthy

...scientists have discovered inbreeding has actually benefitted mountain gorillas by removing many harmful genetic variations. They are also genetically adapted to living in small populations.

The authors of the findings, published in the journal Science, said it is the first project to sequence whole genomes from mountain gorillas.

"We worried that the dramatic decline in the 1980s would be catastrophic for mountain gorillas in the long term, but our genetic analyses suggest that gorillas have been coping with small population sizes for thousands of years," said lead author Dr Yali Xue, from the Sanger Institute.

"While comparable levels of inbreeding contributed to the extinction of our relatives, the Neanderthals, mountain gorillas may be more resilient. There is no reason why they should not flourish for thousands of years to come."


Full story here.
-----------------------------------------

Chimp Bats A Drone Straight Out Of The Air With A Stick



Flying a drone into a chimpanzee habitat to get some footage from previously unseen vantage points probably seemed like a good idea in theory. The thing that the people at the controls must’ve forgotten is that chimps would likely– and did– react unfavorably to a noisy whirligig flying all up in their personal space and getting all up in their business.

Full story here.
-----------------------------------------

Friday, April 10, 2015

New Monkey Species Revealed Thanks To Distinctive Penis

Meet the world's newest monkey. The white-cheeked macaque, Macaca leucogenys, has been discovered in south-eastern Tibet, in biodiverse yet poorly studied forests in the politically volatile area.

It is distinguished from the other four macaque species in the region by its rounded glans penis and a dark, hairy scrotum. Other macaques there have a spear-shaped glans penis and white scrotums. It also has thick, long hair around its neck, unlike the other four species.

It forages in a wide range of habitats, from tropical forests at an altitude of 1395 metres up to at 2700 metres in mixed forests of broad-leaves and conifers. The landscape of Tibetan state Modog, where it was found, encompasses low-lying grasslands, tropical and evergreen forests and alpine meadows, providing habitats for a great diversity of species.


Full story here.
-----------------------------------------