The Primate Diaries

EMJ

On the Origin of Zombie Species

Credit: Revenant Magazine The origin of zombies (Genus: Zumbi) is well understood today, but this wasn’t the case when they were first discovered in the early 1800s. Charles Darwin was the first to recognize that zombie “reproduction” results in a process of descent with modification in a way analogous to that of non-undead species. Darwin’s…

Sexy Beasts at Seed Magazine

Author’s Note: The following is an excerpt from my review of Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. For additional information see my posts Reexamining Ardipithecus ramidus in Light of Human Origins, Those Cheating Testicles, or Who’s Your Baby? as well as Helen’s Lament and the Origins of Forbidden Love. Christopher Ryan also…

Thanks to Greg Laden for the anniversary wishes. One year ago today I wrote my first post here at ScienceBlogs (technically, my first post was yesterday, but that was posting the live twitter transcript of my son’s birth). I would like to thank everyone at Sb (bloggers, administrators, and commenters alike) for their support as…

When most people think of evolutionary biology the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t lyrical poetry. However one of the earliest proponents of evolution, none other than Charles Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus, presented his vision for the origin of life in the form of an epic poem in 1803. In his critically acclaimed work…

Chimpanzees have culture (or not) depending on your definition.Image: Irish Wildcat / Creative Commons Author’s Note: The following is an expansion on my reply to anthropologist Dan Sperber on the PLoS ONE article “Prestige Affects Cultural Learning in Chimpanzees.” Culture is like art or pornography, it’s hard for people to define but everyone knows it…

(updated below) The Quark Award is now down to the last few days for general voting. One of the top twenty posts that you vote for will then go to Richard Dawkins to judge as the best science post of the year. My piece Chimpanzees Prefer Fair Play to Reaping an Unjust Reward has been…

     New research finds chimpanzees follow  prestigious models when learning new tasks.        Monika Thorpe / Creative Commons If one were to play psychiatrist to the natural world, most human beings would be committed for our certifiable obsession with other peoples’ behavior. We compulsively examine, study, appraise, size up, and scope out what those around us are doing…

Author’s Note: This post was selected as the topic for the ResearchBlogCast as part of ResearchBlogging.org. Listen to the discussion here.    Could punishing bad behavior be the origin                  of human cooperation? Humans are one of the most cooperative species on the planet. Our ability to coordinate behavior and work collaboratively with others has allowed us…

A new study shows that chimps sacrifice their own advantage if they earned it unfairly.Image: Owen Booth / Creative Commons Fairness is the basis of the social contract. As citizens we expect that when we contribute our fair share we should receive our just reward. When social benefits are handed out unequally or when prior…

(Source)       But which one should be diagnosed? Diagnostic criteria for 313.81 Oppositional Defiant Disorder A. A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months, during which four (or more) of the following are present: (1) often loses temper (2) often argues with adults (3) often actively defies or refuses to comply…