How did our ancestors get about. Moving out of as well as inside Africa presented problems that must have given us our current abilities for walking and running with an incredible efficiency only equalled by wolves. I wonder what gave us this potato-like ability to sit on couches and do nothing?
When science attempts to discover how natural alcohol sources may affect calorie intake, it is likely that human considerations come into consideration. In this paper, the media can hopefully focus sufficiently on the genetic significance, and not whether monkeys drink or not!
So much intriguing information is becoming available about our genetic links with the primates, but there is competition from those species who can signal to each other in devious ways, or even tell us a thing or two, checking us out and giving us an idea of what and how they think.
From cougars to tree frogs and tiger to elephant, we protect the wild from many threats. It is not only orangutans that are affected by lack of planning and knowledge in wildlife reintroductions. The situation on the ground and in the labs that unearth genetic mistakes is made clear with painstaking research. The future could leave us with little wildlife in Africa, SE Asia or in fact, anywhere, unless the planning is logical and forward-looking.
Most recent among a mass of work appearing on dolphin and whale society alongside the equivalent in birds and primates, among many others, the language of sperm whales could well be translated soon as a fascinating set of clan chats.
It isnt just about apes. The whole study of animal society has been based on dogs, cattle and others such as our close relatives. Social behaviour undoubtedly began in another mammal group, even if it then became extinct. Investigating such behavioural structures has apparently totally neglected the very obvious, early small mammals that could well have advanced at least to the primate level, and we even left out the small species still here for us to observe.
How do gibbons maintain their small family groups? Could they have slightly larger family groups and would this work in similar ways to those found in other primates? Fascinating questions especially given the threatened species of gibbon and the rapidly disappearing habitat of those magnificent forest canopies, 100m or more than 300 feet above the ground.
Do you choose the gorillas and the rest of the unbelievable wildlife in this most magnificent of African National Parks, or the petrol in your car? I know which alternative to chuck out of the forest, never to see the light of day again.
Where in the world can we discover new primates? The answer is only in tropical rainforests, but they will certainly be endangered species, like several of the titis and many, many others. We only have one solution to this tragic loss of life, species, habitat and ecosystems. Stop cutting down the last remnants of these once-great forests. It doesnt even make commercial sense, as this business is never going to be sustainable. Greed is the motive and its result has always been the same.
Auto-Immune Deficiency Disease is very much an issue still although many, young and old, ignore it. Those who can afford to spend our health service cash on drugs survive well, but in Africa, the support for prevention or relief is almost nil.
The survival of wild species in South America is critical to any world effort at conservation, while the sad state of many zoo animals and others there caused legislation to be introduced in 2012. Here we have a chance to help a magnificent effort to save both wild and other animals, foully-abused , but now only in the past, we hope.
How emotional are we when taking a risk, and do men and women vary in their risk-taking? We dont know yet, but the nearest relatives are much more easily assessed.
How DO we save our nearest relative? The wild chimpanzee is far different from the tea-swilling and ultra-cute babies we are used to in various disguises. The existence of these populations in Africa echoes our own origins, but differently! To allow the fabulous gorilla or these bonobos and chimpanzee to disappear from our native Africa would be like allowing sand to slip through our despairing fingers. Stop the trapping and the logging. Immediate gain will not lead to any long-term advantage. We have lost most of the earth, so these precious animals and plants are just a dwindling reminder of the antics of ourselves and our ridiculous past.
How does our skeleton fit us? Is it designed for the activity and sports that we love so much, because of a past of long-distance running and hunting and gathering. Is it more suited to the couch potato, who rarely needs his or her joints to mobilise their frame? The answer lies in agriculture apparently, needing hard work, but from a more gracile form than that of our relatives such as the Neanderthals. The great apes here have heavy frames apart from the 2 extremes, the leaping gibbon and the agricultural human!
From Thailand to the southeast of China and then throughout the Sunda shelf much of which is now underwater, the rainforest was supreme. It was delineated by the presence of many species of dipterocarp, entwined with rattans and delicious fruiting trees, all set off with the huge biodiversity of tigers and elephant, Orang-utan and civets. It still remains, but it desperately cries out for conservation all of that which is left!
The attraction of cats is a puzzle for some and taken for granted by others. In fact, like dogs, they are highly genetically-adapted to be irresistible, otherwise humans would have discarded them both eons ago. Have fun with this great research to ease our guilt at having non-primate commensals. (No, get off the table, you mut!)
The human species exploded with tools and cultural learning at several stages in their distant history. Just how mentally-equipped are other primates for a cultural
rush of tool using and rapid evolution?
For years, humans have been advancing slowly on how animal culture might be transmitted. In efforts to understand both our own ancestors and the mechanisms of social behaviour everywhere, we are seeing achievements at many levels of discovery.
How much research flows out of Madagascar, on the lemurs, chameleons and frogs alone. We have to preserve this island and sustain its people in their struggles with nature, including climate change. The age of introspection is over. This is one planet and we all are one with it just investigate the biodiversity and the climate change conferences mushrooming in response to popular demands.
Humans dont have sexual coloured skin, but many primates use their colour to attract mates. The red colour of rhesus monkeys attracts the opposite sex, so perhaps there is hope for redheads yet!
The study of human relatives goes far beyond the simian primates, but this species is the smallest and probably the most unique of all our closer relatives. Its also American, which brings genomics into the New World for the first time as far as monkeys are concerned.
We need to help critically endangered species urgently.One of the most deserving and endearing is the mountain gorilla, although a real choice would be near-impossible. In Bwindi, the organisation-level is ensuring a growing population, so investment as a tourist seems one of the better prospects, given the difficulties many other species face. In some cases, your visit could conceivably cause their extinction!
With discovery comes responsibility. At least we dont face extinction yet for the chimpanzee. These last great discoveries of the polluting era are important in that we can still recover the situation for many species, some of them on their last legs. In the case of our closest relative, we need to motivate, to work hard and even fight to the death for the result that is imperative.
We have this need to understand how our ancestors developed into something beyond the chimpanzee. The problem of lack of skeleton evidence is avoided here with some new techniques of isotope recognition within tooth enamel.
Do we help the gorillas and the great fauna of Africa as profit and greed take them all from us? This is an appeal from the very top to help the famed mountain gorilla, one of the 2 eastern sub-species and the best known.
Sumatran male orang-utans make their intentions clear in this paper on behaviour that makes planning one of those details that makes some animals different.
The thought of bat and whale being related because they have similar hearing is incorrect. If we study a range of species, though, the evolutionary convergences of many kinds of sensory structures is very involving. What's next? Our chimpanzee friends will be developing their typing skills before we know it!
How will monkeys survive in the mountains if winters become colder? Can species survive climate change when they are living at the edge of their ideal niche?
We don't see any normal lack of secondary sexual characteristics in the great apes - except in the orang-utan. The undeveloped male in these two species, without the large dewlap-like flange, cannot change back to this morph but usually develops into the mature morph over a variable period of time.
The world population of mountain gorillas has increased to 880 individuals, according to the latest census data released by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
This is a set of experiments investigating how chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, collaborate in groups to collect food or drink in specially designed apparatus.
A new report highlights the 25 most endangered primate species. The new report, Primates In Peril, was published this week at the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity COP11.
After years of depredations ranging from their use for bushmeat to dwindling population and disease, African apes are now in greater danger than ever, this time from habitat loss.
Discovery of a new species of monkey in the Democratic Republic of Congo, described as lesula or Cercopithecus lomamiensis.
From orang-utan to giant catfish, the exotic animals of Asia are just about the most endangered, and loved, on earth.
New study into chimpanzee social grooming behaviour. Researchers investigated cultural differences between four chimpanzee communities by studying differences in chimp grooming hand clasps.
Human origins fascinate some people more than our currently-evolved selves. We have, in Africa, the mother of our species and civilisation. Unfortunately, we were fed a false theory in the beginning and now play catch up with the fossils that give us clues about our adaptive ancestors.
A new study into African Grey parrot intelligence using acoustic association. While several animals now appear to almost equal the apes in intelligence, conclusive proof was needed.
A fantastic primate discovery in China as black snub-nose monkey species spotted. The black snub-nosed monkey is now established in both China and Myanmar but is hanging on to survival by a thread.
Primates are prime examples of reciprocal behaviour. Studying tufted capuchin cognition, Gloria Sabbatini et al researched the theory that reciprocal partner preference is based on long-term, rather than short-term benefit experiences.
Pedal power helps spread the message about endangered gorillas. Gorilla conservation helped by a pedal-powered cinema that currently tours around different communities in Uganda.
A study of the rhesus macaque and primate genetic diversity. The diversity of primates is legion, but within each species is a diversity that has enabled them to conquer continents, forest, scrub and mountain environments.
International Animal Rescue help suffering animals such as slow lorises. The slow loris is a species affected by the illegal pet trade, poachers catch them and remove their poisonous teeth. Marta and Willis were the first attempt by IAR to rehabilitate slow lorises and return them back to the wild.
Radio remains a key tool for gorilla conservation. It links people living on the edge of the mountain gorilla habitat in DR Congo and spreads the message about the conservation of gorillas.
How do you get notoriously shy mountain gorillas to accept the presence of humans in their midst? The secret lies in a process called habituation, experts say.
At least 17 species of lemur have been lost on Madagascar, leaving the remainder to adjust to niches that others occupied, possibly in a competitive way, in hypothetical adaptations known as "competitive release concepts."
Conservationists are often accused of prioritizing 'cute and cuddly' animals over les glamorous species. For their part, some conservationists argue that harnessing the potential of 'flagship species' such as gorillas, tigers and pandas does far more good than harm. Tackling this issue for 'The Earth Times Asks' series of debates are Helen Buckland and Nathan Yaussy.
Recently, in Myanmar, an odd-nosed monkey was discovered. Always an exciting event, the primate discovery has livened up the whole of primate evolution.
The bigger the better when it comes to male silverback gorilla muscles. Larger gorillas are better at attracting mates and raising young according to a new study carried out in the Congo.
Orangutans have impressive engineering skills highlighted in new research. Safe, comfortable oval nest structures are built by orangutans using branches in the forest canopy.
Advanced social behaviour of higher primates, cetaceans and a few others are investigated in a unique experiment with 96 undergraduates in a Sims-like virtual world.
With the genome of the western gorilla, a new paper has contrived successfully to contrast ourselves and other ape genomes as they have changed in evolution.
High in the Filipino rainforest, speeches are being made and trysts announced. Predators and prey may well be limited in their understanding, but the tiniest primate, the tarsier has been letting us turn a deaf ear.
When we help each other, it's often voluntary and we can offer varying forms of understanding. Whether our closest relative can concur with his fellow chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) when aiming for a goal could be a crucial question.
In Cameroon and Nigeria, the critically-endangered Cross River gorilla (IUCN. Red List, 2008) 'Gorilla gorilla diehli' is down to 280 individuals. The sub-species of the western gorilla has been found trying to fight back against incredible odds.
Two endangered subspecies of brown spider monkeys have been found by conservationists in a Colombian national park.
The Miller's Grizzled Langur, a species of monkey thought to be extinct, has been found by scientists in Wehea Forest, west of its previously known habitat.
Primate faces evolve to be simpler and plainer in larger groups, which help them communicate through facial expression, a new study suggests. Their facial evolution also alter according to their environment.
A recent project has reversed the opinions we tend to hold on colour vision. The study on various types of tamarin monkey suggests colour blindness actually helps monkeys catch camouflaged prey.
Illegal wildlife products include live rats, chimpanzees and monkeys (bushmeat), but meat from these creatures is also imported. At risk of infecting humans are the RNA viruses, herpes viruses, retroviruses and many other potential health problems.
Tool using has now been observed in several species since the chimpanzee showed us that we are not alone in the use of implements. The New Caledonian crow has joined the rook, the Eurasian jay and the Egyptian vulture in the bird tool users club.
New research on orangutans can shed light on the evolution of the human species. Sometime in the deep past, one or more hominid species started down an evolutionary path that would eventually lead to us: how exactly did that happen? Now, a recent piece of research on hungry orangutans has contributed something to the discussion.
The Max Planck Institute in Leipzig have surveyed 109 resource management areas in Africa for twenty years to reach profoundly disturbing conclusions. The future of our nearest relatives is in doubt. In order to literally combat (in some cases) the decline of the Great Apes, it is now necessary to quantify the effects of every conservation measure.
Human evolution seems to have begun with tools, language and hunting. Now it seems the silver medallist in these events is catching us up. Chimpanzees have long been recorded throwing with great accuracy in zoos as well as in the wild.
Gibbons are one of the largest types of apes that are found in India and a recent rescue mission has saved a small group that were stranded in a cluster of trees.
Serious threat to the endangered ape shown in a new study. Research showed that at least 750 orang-utans were killed in the last year. Indonesian, Malaysian and Australian researchers have produced this shocking result from an analysis of human and orang-utan conflict in Kalimantan.
Anthropological and genetic studies have shown that older female muriqui monkeys play an important role in their social structure.
Guillermo Rougier of the University of Louisville, Kentucky report two very significant Dryolestoid fossil skulls from the Cretaceous. Rougier, Apesteguia, and Gaetano publish the paper in Nature as an Argentinian/US collaboration.
A problem uncovered by BUAV is the distress macaque monkeys suffer in transit, when captured and also their fate (as wild monkeys). The British Union Against Vivisection has been active for a commendable 100 years and more, raising our awareness on issues that should horrify us all. Around 10,000 monkeys a year are exported from Mauritius for prices up to £2600 each.
A three-week expedition through some of the unexplored remnants of Amazonian rainforest, in Brazil's Mato Grosso state, has uncovered a wealth of nature - including a brand new species of monkey. The new member to the titi monkey family was discovered alongside new species of fish and plants, all in a part of the Amazon where most of Brazil's deforestation is happening.
CITES convention examines effects of trade on at-risk species like long-tailed macaques, sharks, and several snake species. Unsustainable wildlife trade not only devastates local ecosystems, it also causes great suffering to individual animals and can introduce invasive species that damage ecosystems abroad.
Exciting find of northern white-cheeked gibbons in southeast Asia. Across the hoots, rustles and chirrups sounding through Vietnam's remote Pu Mat National Park, a dawn chorus can be heard. One haunting sound represents a new hope for a critically endangered primate, the northern white-cheeked crested gibbon.
Animal rescue charity plans 10th anniversary celebration to raise funds. Chimpanzees are our nearest relative, and share many of our own traits: the need for family and companionship, a desire for status within the group, and sometimes volatile personal relationships with other chimps and the humans they encounter.
Captive chimps suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and other mental illnesses, researchers find. Laboratory testing, capture, isolation from social groups, and even captivity in "enriched" environments lead to abnormal behavior in chimps, two studies show.
They're only the sixth pair of twins recorded in Rwandan mountain gorilla history and have arrived, with perfect timing, to give a boost to the endangered species before the annual naming ceremony. The new twins come hot on the heels of the fifth recorded double birth, in the Hirwa Group of mountain gorillas.
Species with low populations can still be saved. These species, such as the Siberian tiger and mountain gorilla, were thought by some scientists to be 'too rare to save'. Some of the world's most endangered species exist in populations far smaller than previous studies had argued were necessary for survival.
Mountain gorillas are under assault from a new enemy - human pneumonia-type viruses - according to research published in Emerging Infectious Diseases. The closeness of our relationship to our magnificent genetic cousins has led to this increased disease risk, that may well require changes to our approaches to conserve them.
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has withdrawn permission that allows companies to drill for oil in Africa's Virunga National Park. Virunga National Park is Africa's first National Park. It has an astonishingly high biodiversity and is home to many rare species including chimpanzees, forest elephants and the endangered eastern gorilla.
According to new research, untrained Barbary macaques are able to differentiate between pictures of familiar and unfamiliar faces. Scientists discovered that the monkeys were able recognise photographs of group members, and spent more time studying pictures of animals that were not part of their social circle.
Conservationists have found populations of the greater bamboo lemur in new areas of Madagascar. Now, the future for these critically endangered species is a little bit brighter. Like many of Madagascar's unique species, the greater bamboo lemur is under increasing pressure. Rainforests in Madagascar are being cleared by indiscriminate slash-and-burn techniques to make way for farmland.