primates

Category archives for primates

I had mentioned earlier that the volcanoes of the Virugna region in the Western Rift Valley (as well as other highland spots) have often been islands of rain forest separated from each other by different habitats, including grasslands and wooded savannas. this has produced an island effect that has been a laboratory for evolution, and…

It has been said that the only way to effect real change in important socio-political debates is to be very aggressive and unapologetically rude in making arguments. Civility and politeness are the hobgoblins of the Western Heternormative Colonoracist Patriarchy. I personally feel that there are indeed times and places for such a thing, but I…

Ida the Fossil Primate

You probably know that there is a new primate fossil, nicknamed “Ida,” and that there is quite a buzz about it. Darwinius masillae, aka Ida Ida comes from fossil deposits in Germany, and was originally excavated in two different parts by private collectors, and only recently rejoined and recognized for the amazing fossil it is.…

Chimps in captivity are a problem.

The incident just reported an hour or so ago is unusual, but not unexpected or unheard of. A 200-pound chimpanzee kept as a pet and once used in commercials was shot and killed by police Monday after it mauled a woman visiting its owner and later cornered an officer in his cruiser, authorities said. Stamford…

Or not. Much is made of the early use of stone tools by human ancestors. Darwin saw the freeing of the hands ad co-evolving with the use of the hands to make and use tools which co-evolved with the big brain. And that would make the initial appearance of stone tools in the archaeological record…

How diverse were early hominoids?

And hominids. We know the fossil record underestimates diversity at least a little, and we know that forested environments in Africa tend to be underrepresented. Given this, the diversity of Miocene apes may have been rather impressive, because there is a fairly high diversity in what we can assume is a biased record. But I’d…

New Primate Research

I have had a lot of students of whom I’m very proud because of their accomplishments both in research and generally. One of these students is Mark Foster, who is one of a very small number of undergraduates to engage in significant research at some of the key East African chimpanzee research sites. Unfortunately for…

Individual animals that live and and forage in groups may not always benefit from a particular move (to or from a foraging site) in the same way as other individuals in the group. Therefore, there must be some kind of negotiation among the critters. Theoretical work almost always seem to show that consensus based group…

Macaque Mothers Favor Their Sons

The Trivers Willard Hypothesis predicts that under certain conditions, individuals will bias their investment in offspring differently depending on the sex of the offspring. It is believed that this can be as extreme as infanticide or as subtle as providing different amounts of breast milk. A new study by Katherine Hinde finds that macaques may…

The Magpie in the Mirror

A typical adult human recognizes that the image one sees in a mirror is oneself. We do not know how much training a mirror-naive adult requires to do this, but we think very little. When a typical adult macaque (a species of monkey) looks in the mirror, it sees another monkey. Typical adult male macaques…