primates https://scienceblogs.com/ en When is the best time to give birth? https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/09/15/when-is-the-best-time-to-give-birth <span>When is the best time to give birth?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>After, not before, you get to the hospital, I always say. </p> <p>But seriously, Robert Martin, the famous primatologist, has <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-we-do-it/201509/when-is-the-best-time-give-birth">an interesting piece in Psychology Today</a> exploring this question. Go read it. I've got a few thoughts spurred by this research I'll list briefly here.</p> <p>First, it seems that wild primates give birth during their daily down-time, the period of time that they are generally inactive. Dirunal primates do so more at night, nocturnal primates do so more during the day. Various reasons have been proposed. I've not read the primary literature on this, but in my ignorance I wanted to propose a possible (maybe additional, maybe already covered) idea. It has been suggested that this is to avoid predation. It could also be the case that the down time itself happens when it does for the same reason, to avoid predation while resting. Consider just diurnal primates for a moment. Resting is probably a time that primates are more likely to be preyed on for one specific reason: they don't have as many eyes scanning from as many angled over a large area. This would apply only to social primates, especially those that sometimes forage in multi-species groups. So, resting times would be times of lower vigilance, so those times are ideally placed during times when predators are less active. Nocturnal/crepuscular primates are least active during the part of the day that primates are less active, and diurnal primates that start to hunt in the morning may have fed by them.</p> <p>I quickly add that this is a counterintuitive idea (the part about resting being placed during the low-risk time of the day). The assumption is usually that resting means you are quiet and hard to find, so less susceptible to predation. But the predators already know where the primates are, and can find them. Being more active may make primates more visible to other primates including human primatologists (arboreal monkeys can be hard to spot when they are just sitting there ... usually you spot them when branches are swaying and calls are sounding). So it would be a tradeoff between increased vigilance associated with foraging (because you are out and about and observant), decreased vigilance associated with foraging (because you are busy stuffing your face with goodies), increase vigilance because you are resting (because you can sit there and look around without distraction) and decreased vigilance because you are resting (because you are zoning out and if you are hiding among thick vegetation have less of a view). Being a primate is complicated.</p> <p>Like other diurnal primates, humans seem to give birth more at night. This is perhaps the baseline starting point for humans further developing a nocturnal active phase to their activities, which for a long time has been thought an important part of evolution. We social beings invent fire and this produces a sitting around the fire thing where we use language to do stuff. Sex too. Diurnal primates not only feed and move about during the day, but also have sex during the day, and in the open. The human pattern is to generally have sex at night, and more privately. This is what happens, perhaps, when you take a monogamous bird/gibbon-like mating system and deploy it in a highly social primate. </p> <p>So the night time behavioral niche includes a number of activities, including sex, gossip, and popping out babies. All closely related things.</p> <p><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-we-do-it/201509/when-is-the-best-time-give-birth">Anyway, go read Robert Martin's article. </a></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Tue, 09/15/2015 - 05:37</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/behavioral-biology" hreflang="en">behavioral biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/diurnal-patterns" hreflang="en">diurnal patterns</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/giving-birth" hreflang="en">giving birth</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/behavioral-biology" hreflang="en">behavioral biology</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1466064" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1442311716"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"When is the best time to give birth?"</p> <p>After the 18th hole.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1466064&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="AkceaZ_l6Zmn9COKkIaS4JiMGCbIOEBtvd_okfhKqr8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Desertphile (not verified)</span> on 15 Sep 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1466064">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2015/09/15/when-is-the-best-time-to-give-birth%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 15 Sep 2015 09:37:39 +0000 gregladen 33679 at https://scienceblogs.com "The Hot Zone" and the mythos of Ebola https://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2014/10/21/the-hot-zone-and-the-mythos-of-ebola <span>&quot;The Hot Zone&quot; and the mythos of Ebola</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>The Hot Zone</em> was first released in 1994, the year I graduated high school. Like many readers, that book and Laurie Garrett's <em>The Coming Plague*</em> really sparked my interest in infectious diseases. In some sense, I have those books to thank (or blame?) for my career.</p> <p>But I'm still going to criticize <em>The Hot Zone</em>, because as a mature infectious disease epidemiologist and a science communicator in the midst of the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, <em>The Hot Zone</em> is <a href="http://mic.com/articles/95640/everything-you-know-about-ebola-is-wrong" target="_blank">now one of the banes of my existence</a>. A recent article noted that the book is back on the bestseller list, going as high as #7 on the New York Times list recently, and #23 on Amazon. It's sold over 3.5 million copies, and it's reported as "a terrifying true story." Many people have gotten almost all of their Ebola education from just <em>The Hot Zone</em> (as they've told me over, and over, and over in the comments to this blog and other sites).</p> <p>Here's why <em>The Hot Zone</em> is infuriating to so many of us in epidemiology and  infectious diseases.</p> <p><strong>First</strong>--the description of symptoms.<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/books/the-hot-zone-author-tracks-ebolas-evolution.html?_r=0" target="_blank">Preston himself admits that these were exaggerated</a>. Over and over, he uses words like "dissolving," "liquefy," "bleeding out" to describe patient pathology. (If I had been playing a drinking game while reading and did a shot every time Preston uses "liquefy" in the book, I'd be dead right now).</p> <p>Of a Marburg patient, pseudonymously named Charles Monet, he describes him as</p> <blockquote><p>"...holding an airsickness bag over his mouth. He coughs a deep cough and regurgitates something into the bag. The bag swells up....you see that his lips are smeared with something slippery and red, mixed with black specks, as if he has been chewing coffee grounds. His eyes are the color of rubies, and his face is an expressionless mask of bruises. The red spots...have expanded and merged into huge, spontaneous purple shadows; his whole head is turning black-and-blue...The connective tissue of his face is dissolving, and his face appears to hang from the underlying bone, as if the face is detaching itself from the skull...The airsickness bag fills up to the brim with a substance known as the <em>vomito negro</em>, or black vomit. The black vomit is not really black; it is a speckled liquid of two colors, black and red, a stew of tarry granules mixed with fresh red arterial blood. It is hemorrhage, and smells like a slaughterhouse....It is highly infective, lethally hot, a liquid that would scare the daylights out of a military biohazard specialist...The airsickness bag is brimming with black vomit, so Monet closes the bag and rolls up the top. The bag is bulging and softening, threatening to leak, and he hands it to a flight attendant.</p> <p>"...the body is partly transformed into virus particles...The transformation is not entirely successful, however, and the end result is a great deal of liquefying flesh mixed with virus...The intestinal muscles are beginning to die, and the intestines are starting to go slack...His personality is being wiped away by brain damage...He is becoming an automaton. Tiny spots in his brain are liquefying...Monet has been transformed into a human virus bomb.</p> <p>"...The human virus bomb explodes...The victim has "crashed and bled out."...He becomes dizzy and utterly weak, and his spine goes limp and nerveless and he loses all sense of balance....He leans over, head on his knees, and brings up an incredible quantity of blood from his stomach and spills it onto the floor with a gasping groan. He loses consciousness and pitches forward onto the floor. The only sound is a choking in his throat as he continues to vomit while unconscious. Then comes a sound like a bedsheet being torn in half, which is the sound of his bowels opening and venting blood from the anus. The blood is mixed with intestinal lining. He has sloughed his gut. The linings of his intestines have come off and are being expelled along with huge amounts of blood. Monet has crashed and is bleeding out."</p></blockquote> <p>And later, at autopsy:</p> <blockquote><p>"His liver...was yellow, and parts of it had liquefied--it looked like the liver of a three-day-old cadaver. It was as if Monet had become a corpse before his death...Everything had gone wrong inside this man, absolutely everything, any one of which could have been fatal: the clotting, the massive hemorrhages, the liver turned into pudding, the intestines full of blood."</p></blockquote> <p>And I didn't even get to what Preston says about Ebola and testicles. Or pregnant women. Seriously, there's pages upon pages upon pages of this stuff.</p> <p>Throughout the book, Preston presents these types of symptoms as typical of Ebola. Not "in worst case, this is what Ebola could do," but simply, "here's what happens to you when you get Ebola." It's even beyond a worst case scenario, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/books/the-hot-zone-author-tracks-ebolas-evolution.html?_r=0" target="_blank">as he notes in part</a>: "In the original '<em>Hot Zone</em>,' I have a description of a nurse weeping tears of blood. That almost certainly didn’t happen."</p> <p>Compare that to just about any blog post by actual workers with <a href="http://www.msf.org/" target="_blank">Médecins Sans Frontières</a>, healthcare workers on the front lines of this and many previous Ebola outbreaks. Stories are scary enough when the<a href="http://blogs.msf.org/en/staff/blogs/msf-ebola-blog/ambulance-stories" target="_blank"> reality of the virus is exposed</a>, and with it the dual affliction of poverty and the terrible health system conditions of affected countries. I <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2014/08/02/repost-whats-it-like-to-work-an-ebola-outbreak/" target="_blank">interviewed MSF's Armand Sprecher </a>a few years back during a different Ebola outbreak, and he noted this about symptoms--quite different from the picture Preston paints:</p> <blockquote><p>The patients mostly look sick and weak. If there is blood, it is not a lot, usually in the vomit or diarrhea, occasionally from the gums or nose.</p></blockquote> <p>The clinical picture of Ebola that people take away from <em>The Hot Zone</em> just isn't accurate, and with 3.5 million copies sold, is certainly driving some (much? most?) of the fear about this virus.</p> <p><strong>Second</strong>, airborne Ebola. Though this trope is often traced back to "Outbreak," Preston clearly suggests that both Zaire Ebolavirus and Reston Ebolavirus can be airborne. What he never discusses nor clarifies is that the "evidence" for this potential airborne spread is really thin, and not even indicative of animal-to-animal or animal-to-person transmission.</p> <p>Rather, it's much more likely that if airborne spread was involved, it was aerosols generated by husbandry (such as spraying while cleaning cages), rather than ones which would have been generated by infected primate lungs (a necessary step for primate-to-primate transmission via a respiratory route). Indeed, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=8712894" target="_blank">this is the paper</a> that Nancy Jaax et al. published on the findings Preston talks to Jaax about, 13 years after the fact (the experiment is marked as 1986 in <em>The Hot Zone</em>), and noting that transmission due to husbandry practices could not be completely ruled out. It's unclear also that the Reston strain moved through the primate facility via air, rather than via spread due to caretakers, equipment, or husbandry. Nevertheless,  it's frequently cited as fact and without any qualification that Reston is an airborne type of Ebola.</p> <p>Instead, here is what Preston says about it:</p> <blockquote><p>"If a healthy person were placed on the other side of a room from a person who was sick with AIDS, the AIDS virus would not be able to drift across the room through the air and infect the healthy person. But Ebola had drifted across a room. It had moved quickly, decisively, and by an unknown route. Most likely the control monkeys inhaled it into their lungs. 'It got there somehow,' Nancy Jaax would say to me as she told me the story some years later. 'Monkeys spit and throw stuff. An when the caretakers wash the cages down with water hoses, that can create an aerosol of droplets. It probably traveled through the air in aerosolized secretions. That was when I knew that Ebola can travel through the air.'"</p></blockquote> <p>He then comes back to "airborne Ebola" several times, based in part on this idea.</p> <p>But here's the thing. Just about <strong>any</strong> virus or bacterium could be aerosolized this way--via high pressure washing of cages, for example. If it can bind to lung cells and replicate there, as we already know Ebola can, it can cause an active infection.</p> <p><em>But that's not the same</em> as saying "Ebola can drift across the room" from one sick person to a healthy person and cause an active infection, as Preston tries to parallel with HIV in the above paragraph. Even in Jaax's experiment and others like it, there's <em>zero evidence</em> that primates are <strong>expelling</strong> Ebola from their lungs in a high enough concentration to actively infect someone else. And that is the key to effective airborne transmission. Think of anthrax--if it's released into the air, we can inhale it into our lungs. It can replicate and cause a deadly pneumonia. But anthrax isn't spread person-to-person because we don't exhale the bacteria--we're dead ends when we breathe it in. This is what happens with primates as well who are experimentally infected with Ebola in a respiratory route, but Preston implies the opposite.</p> <p><strong>Third</strong>, if it wasn't for points one and two, <em>The Hot Zone</em> really could be read as a "damn, Ebola really isn't that dangerous or contagious so I have little to worry about" narrative. Preston describes many "near misses"--people who were exposed to huge amounts of "lethally hot" Ebola-laden body fluids, but never get sick--but doesn't really bother to expose them as such. All 35 or so people on the little commuter plane Monet flies on between his plantation in western Kenya and Nairobi, deathly ill, vomiting his coffee grounds and dripping nasal blood into the airsickness bag he handed to a flight attendant--none of them come down with the disease.</p> <p>The single secondary infection Monet causes is in a physician at the hospital where he's treated, after his bowels "ripped open" like a bedsheet. That physician, Shem Musoke, not only swept out Monet's mouth until "his hands became greasy with black curd" but also was "showered" with black vomit, striking him in the eyes and mouth. Monet's blood covered Musoke's "hands, wrists, and forearms," because "he was not wearing rubber gloves." Musoke developed Marburg virus disease, but survived--one of the few secondary cases of infection described in the book.</p> <p>Another "close call" was that of Nurse Mayinga N. She had been caring for one of the Ebola-infected nuns at Ngaliema Hospital in Kinshasa during the 1976 outbreak in Zaire, the first detected entry of Zaire Ebolavirus into the human population. Beginning to feel ill herself, she ditched her job and disappeared into the city for two days. She took a taxi to a different, larger, hospital in the city, but was sent away with a malaria shot. She's examined at a third hospital and sent away. Finally she returns to Ngaliema hospital and is admitted, but by that time, had caused a panic. Preston says:</p> <blockquote><p>"When the story reached the offices of the World Health Organization in Geneva, the place went into full-scale alert...Nurse Mayinga seemed to be a vector for an explosive chain of lethal transmission in a crowded third-world city with a population of two million people. Officials at WHO began to fear that Nurse Mayinga would become the vector for a world-wide plague. European governments contemplated blocking flights from Kinshasa. The fact that one infected person had wandered around the city for two days when she should have been isolated in a hospital room began to look like a species-threatening event."</p></blockquote> <p>How many secondary cases were the result of Mayinga N's wanderings? That possibly "species-threatening" event? Preston again devotes several paragraphs to Mayinga's gruesome illness and death, and notes that 37 people were identified as contacts of hers during her time wandering Kinshasa. He tells us they were quarantined "for a couple of weeks."</p> <p>The fact that <strong>exactly zero</strong> people were infected because of Mayinga's time in Kinshasa merits half a paragraph, and not dramatic or memorable. "She had shared a bottle of soda pop with someone, and not even that person became ill. The crisis passed." &lt;--Yes, that is a direct quote and the end of the chapter on Mayinga. Contrast that to Preston's language above.</p> <p><strong>Finally</strong>, beyond the science and the fear-mongering about Ebola, beyond everything and everyone in the story "liquefying" and "dissolving" and "bleeding out," reading this book again as an adult, as a woman in a science career with a partner and kids, I was also left annoyed at the portrayal of the scientists. All of the major characters except one, Nancy Jaax, are men of course, ranging in age from late 20s to 50s-60sish. Understandable since this is in a mostly-male military institution and in a BLS4 setting to boot, but the one Preston focuses on for much of the narrative is Jaax.</p> <p>While Preston may have been trying to portray Jaax as the having-it-all, tough-as-nails woman scientist, the fact that she's the only one with any kind of home life is telling--mostly because he devotes more paragraphs to how she neglects both her children and her dying father than any success she has in her life outside of work. She is told early on by one of her colonels that "This work is not for a married female. You are either going to neglect your work or neglect your family." This thought comes up repeatedly for Jaax, and in the end, while she was accepted and even honored by her colleagues and bosses, we hear over and over again how her children are left on their own to microwave meals and tend to their homework. How they desperately wait up for her to get home after work, often eventually falling asleep in her bed before she arrives. How she tells her father, dying of cancer back in Kansas and both knowing he only has a few hours to days to live, good-bye and "I'll see you at Christmas" over the phone. How she barely arrives on time for his funeral after he passes.</p> <p>We hear one paragraph about how another colleague, Thomas Geisbert, had a crumbling marriage with two small children, and how he left the children at his parents' house for a weekend. Other than that, the personal lives of any other characters are practically absent, save for Jerry Jaax, Nancy's husband. Even with him, much of the character development revolves around his fears of his wife working in a BSL4 lab.</p> <p><em>The Hot Zone</em>, for me, is unfortunately one of those books that you read as a young person and think is amazing, only to revisit years later and see it as much more shallow and contrived, the characters one-dimensional and the plot predictable. The problem is that <em>The Hot Zone</em> is not just a young adult novel--it's still presented and defended as an absolutely true story, especially by huge Preston fans who seem to populate comment threads everywhere. And now it looks like there will be a sequel. At least it should be good for a drinking game.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>*I'll note that The Coming Plague is much more measured when it comes to Ebola--the two were grouped together because temporally, they were released close together, not because they display the same type of hype regarding the virus.</em></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a></span> <span>Mon, 10/20/2014 - 18:46</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/book-movie-reviews" hreflang="en">Book &amp; movie reviews</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ebola-0" hreflang="en">ebola</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/general-epidemiology" hreflang="en">General Epidemiology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/infectious-disease" hreflang="en">infectious disease</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/science-communication" hreflang="en">science communication</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/science-journalism" hreflang="en">Science Journalism</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/women-and-science" hreflang="en">Women and Science</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/jaax" hreflang="en">Jaax</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/reston" hreflang="en">reston</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/richard-preston" hreflang="en">Richard Preston</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ebola-0" hreflang="en">ebola</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/infectious-disease" hreflang="en">infectious disease</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/public-health" hreflang="en">public health</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/science-communication" hreflang="en">science communication</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/science-journalism" hreflang="en">Science Journalism</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/life-sciences" hreflang="en">Life Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844507" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413847938"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thanks for going through these problems in detail. I had read the book 15 years ago or so, and your guess is correct: I am still carrying those misleading images in my head. They are extremely unhelpful as the US decides how to respond to this rather minor public health challenge.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844507&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Gpgo0GbYk8LUMOFtYK9xtnmCe1HQXjncDYROBPDcTQA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Don Monroe (not verified)</span> on 20 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844507">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844508" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413850126"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thanks for writing this. I haven't read that book since like '95 when I was 15. So it's been nearly 20 years, I may actually even still have it on my shelf. I barely remember it other than that it scared the shit out of me. For a long time The Hot Zone and the movie Outbreak were responsible for my entire understanding of what Ebola was.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844508&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="XSOm1Ir2-8_36jt4dhe7VHT7mTdUGBHM1G4fKeRn54Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris Berez (not verified)</span> on 20 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844508">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844509" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413851249"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Agree with you on all of this. However there is an important issue the book brings to light you did not mention-what if the "authorities" don't agree on how to handle an outbreak? In the book the Army and the CDC did not agree-things ended before it really mattered. But's not clear how that would work.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844509&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="7cLj145JgFxriU-WM9hNiuGBMbTicWIFOYHcMJa5aWM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jennifer (not verified)</span> on 20 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844509">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844510" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413855212"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>They actually worked it out fairly well per the book. I don't know how things really went down, of course, but it seems reasonable that the CDC would handle human cases (as they are now if called in by local public health or otherwise assigned). USAMRIID typically wouldn't really have jurisdiction but this was an odd case since they found the virus and it was in their backyard. There are definitely turf wars but if they get out of hand upper-level people can get them under control. I didn't discuss that here because it's not one of the main points people 1) even remember or 2) get drastically wrong in the current Ebolamania.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844510&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1e-bKX8RIDpI26wT_-YTPkJbKCZYTrGF9l6f5RHPeO0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 20 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844510">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844511" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413869318"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Back in the mid-1990s, when the Kikwit outbreak was still going, a participant in one of the bionet chat groups coined the term "Ebola Preston": that is, a meme that spreads like wildfire that consists largely of spectacularly overblown hype.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844511&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="-JRm1v8OLOuBVi3jRvbTv-N74Yl4r1ly4fjijTdjwUA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ed Rybicki (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844511">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844512" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413893080"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Really good Tara. I have a similar relationship to the book, in that at first I thought it was amazing, and I now find it depressingly overblown and unhelpful.</p> <p>keep up the good work</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844512&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kLiQkqXCfZcaBiwe75SkfLakQ-Mws78LZA5uP5R-iX4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bill Hanage (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844512">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844513" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413902320"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I think you're being a little unfair. Even as an adult (and professional female), I thought the Preston book was an entertaining and informative read. My takeaway (based the very facts you mention), was that Ebola is difficult to catch and clearly not airborne. Perhaps you'd find the book less vexing if you had a higher opinion of the reading public. </p> <p>More generally, I'm a little baffled by all the concern about Ebola hysteria. Apart from a lot of chatter on twitter and calls to limit the air travel of people out of the hot zone (not entirely unreasonable), I see none of the hysteria that the media seems to be so worried about. Ebola, even if it doesn't cause people to liquify, is a highly lethal disease that needs to be taken seriously. I'm glad the public is paying attention.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844513&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="__N6I7JUq-f6cXUogFCavdKJFdXzPtvxwKruXpKAVck"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sean (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844513">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844514" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413903166"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Everything you said is very true about the virus. What you failed to mention was the term, "microbreaks:. Virus' attempt to make a permanent break into species to find another host to "take up shop" in as the book states. Each attempt/break can, and has, been different. You are speaking as if 1976, 1983, 1986 is the same as today. In fact it isnt; the virus today has mutated and we do not know nearly as much as we believe. What I garnered out of this article is what I already figured: we do not know as much as we are led to believe about this virus; the virus has always and will always burn out on its own without a single bureaucratic agency stopping a damn thing.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844514&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="QIEkKrf76kLM5DkjMfpnSKwHnAnwxJ1Ar3mvLQVyDcM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Me (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844514">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844515" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413903703"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Also, each and every time an outbreak ended from ebola it was not because of some human hero, but because the virus seemingly , "disappeared" into the bush. My concern is not with the virus as much as it has to do with how we cope with it. My fear is not the virus but oir incompetence and arrogance as a species at times. I also have read the book and what alarmed me more than anything was how the cdc and military did nothing to avert crisis: seemingly, somehow, the virus burned out on its own. If it ever found a macrobreak into society and did not burn out, all deals are off. The ones who truly understand this virus know this and is why it is paramount that we stop it in africa. </p> <p>As for the virus being airborne.. I also have read the book and she only assumed that the cleaner of the cages was how the monkeys became infected, but that is only an assumption. Also, johnson and jax both infected monkeys with airborne zaire and wrote an entire scientific peer reviewed study and surmised thst the virus is capable of surviving longer in a colder and drier climate in air and on objects; that the humid and hot climate of africa was not its best place to thrive. </p> <p>Does that mean we are doomed? No, far from. It only means what they wrotwww and found through scientific experimentation and that the virus survives better in drier cooler conditions, I.e. a lab or winter.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844515&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="XboA5-IphuB3sMR66AvF-7FPrndDIljLseCdmDehQMc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Me (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844515">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844516" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413907702"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Tara, you mention The Coming Plague in passing, and I hope you are not painting my book with the "Hot Zone" brush. I actually covered the Reston outbreak as it happened and have another issue: How he treats Dr. Joe McCormick. Joe was part of the team in the 1976 Yambuku Ebola outbreak, for CDC, so as soon as USAMRIID said there were possible human cases in Reston Joe was sent up to check it out. He almost immediately determined it was flu in the people, ruled out danger for people and noted Hemorrhagic B virus was also in the animal population, possibly the bigger threat. In order to maintain a long suspenseful read Preston had to destroy Joe &amp; make him seem incompetent and irrelevant -- otherwise the book is done somewhere around Chapter 2. It was a nasty thing to do to Joe, and inaccurate.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844516&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kuzBWAkZzWodUuWYzbyJXdmgTcV_e_ZCJKtHn_fnKL4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Laurie Garrett (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844516">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844517" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413911285"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Laurie, no not at all. I'll edit in a note in about that but TCP was simply temporally in that same time frame. I don't think that's been a driver of the "Fearbola" like the Hot Zone has. </p> <p>I did leave out the whole issue of CDC/USAMRIID political inter-fighting that he describes. There also was a scene where he simply describes a "Belgian doctor" (Piot?) greasing some wheels during the 1976 outbreak that seemed a bit odd as well, but I'm way more familiar with the epi &amp; microbiology than all of the personalities involved. As such, I don't have as much background to be able to comment on inaccuracies there. Thanks for adding that perspective.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844517&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5_DlUvMGdWhBQayQf4Ke52JOk7SaGdMn8VXRi1kc9P8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844517">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844518" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413911429"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sean, here in Northeast Ohio, public health has fielded literally thousands of calls about Ebola since Amber Vinson traveled here. Thousands of dollars (tens of thousands?) have been spent on "cleaning up" schools and airports far from where Vinson or any direct contacts were. I myself spent hours discussing just how Ebola can be transmitted, how long it can live on surfaces, etc., because there is so much misinformation out there and people are scared. It's great you're not seeing it wherever you are, but that certainly is not the state everywhere. Also, while writing about this outbreak, you have no idea how many comments I get that are simply instructions to "read Hot Zone" and that will show me that "Ebola is airborne," or whatever similar claim they're making, despite the fact that I know the papers published by Jaax and others--and those papers are much more measured in the scientific literature than their HZ descriptions. Others clearly are taking away a different message than you are.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844518&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="HO5OGoqKWlPulH8iPGCbUIKTwb0rDTJ_XFO6hda19Vw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844518">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844519" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413911631"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Me," there is no evidence of mutation in this outbreak that is in excess of previous outbreaks. *Every* human transmission and introduction of the virus into the population will be with a slightly different virus--a "mutant" from previous ones we've seen. But we don't see any differences in this one that appears to make it more transmissible or virulent. You are also mistaken about prior outbreaks. They have been contained, by and large, via large and tedious field investigations involving lots of isolation of patients and contact tracing of those who were infected or exposed. See the recent work in Nigeria, involving hundreds of contacts and thousands of home visits. Sounds like that involved lots of human heroes to me.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844519&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="CTEWsEWyOjAWXm_VQ_ACD0DZXBrVrwyXWrn2InTiQtc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844519">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844520" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413914155"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I started reading it and immediately thought it was fiction, couldn't be an accurate description of how any disease actually worked, and tossed it aside as overwrought drivel.</p> <p>It seems my assessment was mostly right.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844520&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_tJbd1_5BEN944uM9Zcks1g5Uu8Ble7ALcnoYlO6mIY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brian Evans (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844520">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844521" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413915335"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Richard Preston also wrote a novel about bioterrorism ("The Cobra Event"). It's certainly a gripping story, but I have no expertise to evaluate the medical aspect of it. </p> <p>Rereading it for the first time since it came out, I noticed all the references to an Iraqi biowarfare program, mobile weapons labs, etc. To be fair, at the time RP wrote this (pre-2002) lots of people believed the stories about biological weapons research in Iraq. </p> <p>I spent some time with Google looking for any remarks by RP following the Iraq war, to see what he had to say about the striking absence of all the biowar infrastructure he thought would be there. But nobody seems to have asked him about it, or if they did I can't find any record of it.</p> <p>Apologies if this is somewhat tangential to the topic, but I think it's another example of RP being less than scrupulous in his writing.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844521&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wWveOuw25McLrT3bKtxorQ4LPkiFzHRyBcjKj4boEcA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ned (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844521">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844522" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413925220"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Please be direct, is The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story fiction or an instance of Truthiness? I read it shortly after it came out and realized I had been working in and out of hat area (block away) at the time of the case. The book scared the hell out of me. The symptoms of Marburg/Ebola reminded me of blood agents as they were described in Military Nuclear Chemical and Biologic Weapons classes. If the transmission is so difficult how did it get passed in Dallas when it appears that the only unprotected skin was the neck area? I find it hard to believe that nurses in this case were careless. If it is as difficult to transmit as you seem to propose then the 95% coverage (face/eyes/nose/mouth shields) should have been pretty effective.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844522&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="9LY1oWCLGhIBX18zCA51hLytnDmaSK3fHgzC9B8MDyQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anhout Zwingley (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844522">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844523" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413934881"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"If it is as difficult to transmit as you seem to propose then the 95% coverage (face/eyes/nose/mouth shields) should have been pretty effective."</p> <p>It is speculated that the transmission occurred when they were removing the protective clothing. Dr. Smith actually mentions that on her appearance in this podcast:<br /><a href="http://www.twiv.tv/2014/10/19/twiv-307/">http://www.twiv.tv/2014/10/19/twiv-307/</a></p> <p>Also in our local paper this morning, there was a photo and small article about aid responders training that focused on shedding safety gear:<br /><a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024830022_ebolatrainingxml.html">http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024830022_ebolatrainingxml.html</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844523&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="PDP67QYcYHLZDmj8j5v_dQXigw_p6LxhUkqvTKZNLfA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844523">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844524" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413934985"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>My comment with links went into moderation. The possible transmission may have occurred when they removed their safety gear.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844524&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="cmlod544dgk3AfXCgJz23JT2vrJOfmlkvYdHVS0R584"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris (not verified)</span> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844524">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844525" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413936556"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>^Yes. Actually at the blog I linked earlier (<a href="http://haicontroversies.blogspot.com/">http://haicontroversies.blogspot.com/</a>), it's run by experts in hospital infection control and they discuss extensively how tough it is to "don and doff" protective gear correctly. If the hospital didn't give them careful training--which seems like they probably didn't given the other issues that have surfaced--they could have contaminated themselves upon removal, when most people "feel safe."</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844525&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="__ApcWfxbMGq-87pLFUIuq7UoJDNWeH-nJ8JRzeyrl4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 21 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844525">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844526" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413979347"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>While I agree the book can be seen as exaggerated, it brought an awareness to Ebola that would never have existed otherwise.</p> <p>While your claim of misplaced paranoia may be true, there has been little evidence of that paranoia actually being put into effect other than on internet comment sections. People (outside of communities with someone who has been quarantined) aren't cancelling flights en masse, or stopping all interaction with others and locking themselves in their homes. This paranoia is on the same level as political paranoia, that Obama is actually in league with China or North Korea or al Qaeda. It is a bunch of people talking.</p> <p>I doubt your quality of life is at all impacted by Preston's overblown description of the disease. You're not going to lose your job. People probably aren't mobbing your home for safety or threatening you to not come back until this blown over for fear of you getting contaminated and spreading it to all of them. I could be wrong, in which case I am sorry for the assumption. But I doubt it, otherwise the trigger happy news feeds would pick up on it.</p> <p>Let's not discredit what Preston set out to do, tell a gripping story based somewhat in reality. The reality base makes it scary but exciting (like the sensation of hearing a ghost in your home after you see a horror movie - gets you all freaked out but statistically, the amount of people with an apparition floating around in there is null). Ebola is always a remote risk in the world and he probably never had any intention of inciting panic since how likely was an Ebola outbreak in the US. He wanted to tell a good story and sell a lot of copies and that's what he did. He didn't claim to be giving medical advice or crisis management tips on how to handle it.</p> <p>It is no different than any news we receive nowadays which is often sensationalized.</p> <p>According to your post, it seems you are more negatively impacted by the public's perception than by the threat of the actual disease. If it's really affecting your health, stop reading internet blogs and the comment section. </p> <p>Problem solved.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844526&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="R4luSe-5NsM2k5S-Rq5mlEm51JAyrw-qXW3zMdJAf6w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve (not verified)</span> on 22 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844526">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844527" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413990803"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Steve, I don't think we know that regarding your first claim. We can't go back and re-run history. And you are also incorrect about what is happening with regard to Ebola paranoia. Check out all these examples journalist Tara Haelle provides--<a href="http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/how-the-media-stoked-ebola-panic-112095_Page2.html#.VEfiL_l4pcQ">http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/how-the-media-stoked-ebo…</a> </p> <p>You're correct that my quality of life is not personally impacted. But, this *has* come to my school and place of employment. Fellow employees are dealing with their own sick relative, and with being in isolation, and with all of the stigma that comes along with that. Students who are from West Africa--or are even obviously "foreign" but may be from Kenya or other countries in Africa--are being viewed with suspiscion and are feeling the discrimination (even more than usual). Because is not impacting me personally, should I ignore that? You are being incredibly dismissive of this and defending not only the sensationalistic news culture, but also authors like Preston who benefit from this. That's your choice but I prefer to fight against exactly that mentality.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844527&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8HichIjHN2hZPS3nKssQmv4WLTRxvmik2pFMnhpV81I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 22 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844527">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844528" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413995290"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I support your right to fight but paranoia is often rooted in sound logic that's pushed too far. </p> <p>Perhaps Ebola isn't as contagious as the news would lead us to believe but isn't it better to stay away from the cliff entirely rather than just be extra careful while playing on the ledge? This paranoia has pushed politicians to start acting, implementing screening at airports and respond more aggressively (finally issuing protocols) to try to prevent it from even entering the country. If people were calm as a winter lamb, there's a good chance they'd still be sitting on their hands debating how much resources to throw at this possible threat, perhaps letting hospitals continue fumbling their own way through how to respond to this new agent.</p> <p>Agreed that it's unfortunate that some people are discriminated against, but this discrimination could also prevent another infected person from getting into the country. Thus revealing my bias, err on the side of safety, even at the risk of inconvenience or offense. If you ask the family of one of these infected nurses if they wish airport discrimination-screening had stopped Duncan from bringing it into the country, thereby leading to their relative's infection, even at the expense of inconveniencing thousands of people, I'm willing to bet they'd sign up for that in a liquified heartbeat.</p> <p>With a kill rate as high as Ebola has, people are understandably afraid. Even if it isn't airborne like some have claimed it to be, what if someone sneezes and then grabs a handrail or hands over their money to the cash register worker? Chance of infection right there. The so-called paranoia arises from the fact that these people are walking around, interacting with pyramids of other people before they're finally isolated. And while I use the nurses' families in defense of my point above, I'll throw the first under the bus now. </p> <p>When a trained nurse, who presumably understands the value of safety and health precaution, has been caring for an Ebola-infected patient for several weeks and then comes down with a fever and nausea herself, one would think that the nurse would logically play it safe and not fly, even though she wore a protective suit. But she flew anyway. The CDC employees even cleared her. What inconsiderate flaming idiot would think it was at all appropriate to allow that? Even with a protective suit on her all the time, with a 70% kill rate, normal people would assume she would play it safe and take one for the team by staying home, JUST IN CASE. Normal people would assume that government agency employees would play it safe and tell her to stay home when she calls up to ask for permission to travel. But she flew. They even let her fly. </p> <p>Management failure is so grossly evident that normal people start freaking out at how the system failed, at how easily this thing is traveling through airports and around the country. If a trained nurse is not wise enough to play it extra-safe and can slip through controls, airborne or not, Ebola could end up in your city within a 4 hour flight.</p> <p>I think a little paranoia is justified in this case.</p> <p>What would you have suggested be done to curb the threat before people started freaking out? What do you suggest be done now, after the freak out has started?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844528&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="vdtyzjEmMOw3L0fy_Q6bg0X17bpBacf3nL--SCSfrKc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve (not verified)</span> on 22 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844528">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844529" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413995727"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I recognize I am negating my first claim that the paranoia is only manifesting itself on internet boards, as your politico article refutes. I guess my overall point is, even if it's happening outside of comment boards, I can't completely say it's unwarranted.</p> <p>Now where did I put that gas mask and pitchfork?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844529&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="t6pr5V-xdVMdLQhHM4VKKgtQnIvMetzACatbOQV59U8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve (not verified)</span> on 22 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844529">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844530" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1413998920"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Steve - There are healthy people locking themselves in their own homes for fear of Ebola, and there are people on the internet yammering to prosecute victims and their families; someone threatened to burn down the house of a recently returned missionary who is healthy but self-quarantining, with him and his family inside. Others are spewing even on TV - don't even consider talk radio - that Obama is deliberately importing Ebola-infected Kenyan Mooslim terrorists to kill good white people, etc.; you can imagine how the smaller-brained members of the audience react to that.</p> <p>The nurses who cared for Duncan - not for "several" weeks - were told that they were not at real risk and only needed to self-monitor out of an abundance of caution. We now know that was wrong, but when Vinson went to Ohio, she did not know that, as Pham had not yet gotten sick. The CDC told her it was okay to fly, both ways. That was an error, but Vinson wasn't "selfish" or "inconsiderate" as so many are claiming; she asked if she should urgently return to Dallas after Pham was diagnosed, she asked if she should go to a hospital when she had a tiny fever, and the CDC "expert" repeatedly said no. This isn't directed at you, Steve, but given the nature of much of the ultra-right response to Ebola, I cannot help doubting that there would be so much howling against her if she were lily-white.</p> <p>I don't think someone sneezing and touching a handrail is a big issue, since the virus in humans is not primarily produced in the respiratory system nor in sweat, certainly not in large quantities before the person is symptomatic. It's clear from Dallas that if you have to care for a patient who is being violently ill, aerosol or skin-as-fomite transmission is a huge risk. However, it's equally clear that just being near a person who is starting to get sick is not, since none of Duncan's family - who were in the apartment with him when he was first sick, then were caged inside with all their "dangerous, contaminated" personal possessions for four days afterwards - became ill.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844530&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="YbSuKGlvtOAHWUbKC3lDsUckMzCZfpSEqPUD0WQCkNo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jane (not verified)</span> on 22 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844530">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844531" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414001172"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>There is a small minority of nutcases in almost any issue you could mention. There is probably a small minority of creepers hiding outside of Justin Bieber's house hoping he is the second coming. But the small minority doesn't represent the great majority and in this case, I would say the great majority are not burning houses down but are legitimately scared and worried and upset at how this has been handled. Just as the majority are upset that Bieber gets any news coverage ever.</p> <p>As opposed to your ultra-right comment, I consider myself right-winged and I have no idea what skin color either nurse is, nor what their names are, that anyone cares about their skin color (you or them) makes me think this is an attempt to turn the situation into political fuel against the opposite side. I couldn't care less if Mitt Romney was in charge or Obama, male or female, black or white, rich or poor; crap went down that shouldn't have and I'm upset over it as it could lead to me and my family being put at risk when this should have been nipped in the bud before it even got within 100 miles of the coastline, or 10 miles of any major airport.</p> <p>The virus is not produced int he respiratory system, but it is carried in saliva, which becomes airborne or much more mobile when someone sneezes. Heck, when you sneeze, your salivary drops can travel hundreds of yards on the wind.</p> <p>Is ebola transmittable by saliva? If so, then paranoia is justified because hot dang, people's saliva is everywhere. If not, then I and everyone else can settle down and worry a little less next time we have to take change from a cashier or grab the airport door handle.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844531&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="qzUFr1wa6n6IhmwfsH5NHMHPWqJvNx_g_hWa5OCF9g0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve (not verified)</span> on 22 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844531">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844532" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414018402"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The virus is quickly inactivated in saliva. Spit is not an issue.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844532&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="niuiMNNKsmEjJhoki1MSw_Ud9OPxpivFAcB3OrNV6os"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 22 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844532">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844533" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414057149"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I was a uni student when I first read <i>'The Hot Zone'</i> whilst browsing at a local bookshop - it caused me to miss my bus at least a couple of times. (Yes, I eventually bought my own copy - money was an issue then.. now too come to think of it!)</p> <p>I very vividly recall reading the paragraphs on "Monet" and what the Marburg virus apparently did to him -and nurse Mayinga and others. </p> <p>Hellishly powerful and memorable stuff. Quite a meme if not a virus.</p> <p>Many, um, yikes decades later, well, I am just going to say thanks for you writing this.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844533&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pIbzcetWZyylNveb_ny4WgQ1R-Jn26LNbsJqLSSVIQ0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Astrostevo (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844533">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844534" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414060612"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Well then, slap that on a news site headline and we can put this baby to bed.</p> <p>Thanks for the info.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844534&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="gFp0i4bUBZwFUGm9BI-YFRycXZZrRecRl6tlFOilIfg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844534">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844535" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414093584"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>EBOV has been isolated from saliva, and the CDC website says that it's a potential route of transmission. It might not be the most efficient route, but I don't think current data really can be interpreted as categorically as you suggest here.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844535&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="W7ymApBmDwk08kwKxLAnxYqKJUNODlmqYrfSHI4-ghI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Glendon (not verified)</span> on 23 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844535">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844536" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414154552"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Hi Tara,</p> <p>I'm not going to belabor the argument that we should be preparing for the worst. Instead, I wanted your opinion on a different topic.</p> <p>In Dallas, a nurse who had been caring for Duncan flew multiple times on commercial airlines. Another nurse went ahead and booked a vacation on a cruise line. Now we're learning that in New York Dr. Spencer did not self-quarantine himself after caring for ebola victims in Africa, but instead decided it was fine to ride in taxi cabs, take the subway, and go bowling.</p> <p>Clearly this is one of the most exasperating aspects of the ebola outbreak in the United States; specifically, there seems to be a cavalier disregard for the deadliness of the disease by the same people who are supposed to be on the front lines containing the disease.</p> <p>What is your opinion on this?</p> <p>TJ</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844536&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="56qDHkc2GhqWHlS3ig8Fq4Sy9U2TaBQVNwSmavnnRzc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">TJ Harvey (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844536">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844537" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414154627"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Yet another example. So very frustrating:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-24/nypd-stunner-cops-exit-ebola-victim-appartment-dump-gloves-masks-sidewalk-trash-can">http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-24/nypd-stunner-cops-exit-ebola-v…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844537&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="MxUvYaqjVDb4MwifWV75ZW6bfHInGb442tSdsheyYQA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">TJ Harvey (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844537">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844538" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414166950"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>Another nurse went ahead and booked a vacation on a cruise line. Now we’re learning that in New York Dr. Spencer did not self-quarantine himself after caring for ebola victims in Africa, but instead decided it was fine to ride in taxi cabs, take the subway, and go bowling.</p></blockquote> <p>That's because <a href="http://afludiary.blogspot.ca/2014/10/msf-protocols-for-volunteers-returning.html">it <i>was</i> fine</a>.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844538&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2v-lv5NTSUaM1WDqk3gjw_tj8NqzmsnuYb8oVBSpWiI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Narad (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844538">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844539" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414187002"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It was just dandy for the doctor, to be sure. But it was not so fine for the people who later road in his cab, or for the mother or father who later put on his rented bowling shoes, all of whom are now wondering whether they are going to live or die.</p> <p>It's good to see that the politicians in New York finally got some common sense and imposed mandatory quarantines:</p> <p><a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/new-york-new-jersey-will-quarantine-ebola-doctors-n233536">http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/new-york-new-jers…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844539&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="n_YRrw6VjKD-NTCMF4Bq-loYbZGK0fL1JEqf6Lh3k9w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">TJ harvey (not verified)</span> on 24 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844539">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844540" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414194177"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Not common sense at all. It's going to put more of us in danger by belaboring the outbreak in Africa. We're freaking out here over something that is actually tough to transmit (bowling shoes, really?) while we're now actively discouraging people from helping to fight it. Political pandering of the worst kind.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844540&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="I2QIVRNy85lW_z91apfzt_Z8oqnRiEB5j9AyoGd2n8U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 24 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844540">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844541" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414260809"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>There seem to be folks here like you, Tara Smith, who out of some sense of guilt over "discrimination" or "colonialism" or some other such thing keep telling us all how we have to be "fair" to the Africans. And we have to avoid any semblance of "discrimination." You said the same thing in your new POLITICO article, and some folks in this discussion thread are saying the same thing.</p> <p>"Fairness" and "discrimination" aren't medical terms, they aren't biological terms, and they aren't epidemiological terms.</p> <p>They're political terms.</p> <p>I don't see any compelling reason to do anything that would put the public health of the American people at risk just to be fair or nice or non-discriminatory with other people. America's public health should not take a back seat to international public relations.</p> <p>If America's health care officials aren't concerned first and foremost with public health in America as opposed to public health in Africa or anywhere else, they're not doing their jobs and they should be fired.</p> <p>If we can institute a visa ban and keep Ebola out of this country, I don't care if the whole world calls us racist, colonialist, imperialist, blah-blah-blah. All that stuff isn't worth a single innocent American life.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844541&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="t33MeEPI1xTn68L5u66blk3rqO9BHrsZMet7bfJY1oc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">sinz54 (not verified)</span> on 25 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844541">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844542" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414338822"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It has nothing to do with being "fair." It has everything to do with maintaining relationships and trust with citizens of the affected countries. We need their help to get this under control, and if they see US policy as basically shutting them in and slamming the door, why in the world would they trust us? And if we can't get it controlled over there, you can be sure we'll keep seeing cases over here, no matter what type of ban might be put in place. It *is* a public health matter and if you truly believe that we need to protect "innocent American life," then you do that by putting everything we have into containing the outbreak in the affected countries.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844542&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2Aj9Qzulvs3b3MA5Amc_tjWLvUo4qJO3wY7Cz6mXhcw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 26 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844542">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844543" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414393679"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>It’s good to see that the politicians in New York finally got some common sense and imposed mandatory quarantines</p></blockquote> <p>So we're all cool about the same – and then some – for other diseases with a higher effective reproduction number, right? No, that wouldn't work. It seems as though you have some comparative analysis between <i>R</i> and CFR in mind, but I'll be jiggered if I can find the inflection point, legally speaking.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844543&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="nR5i_Ael_0nxDxVbCX4WyRUPHTQavB3dIQujN91LYLA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Narad (not verified)</span> on 27 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844543">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844544" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414581465"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Hey, (Na) sinz54, two things:</p> <p>1) Thanks for bringing in the science-free, racist FOX News perspective to this thread. Now we all know what bullcrap to expect to see from our right-wing rellies with Facebook accounts.</p> <p>2) If Ebola came from France, would you still favor a travel ban?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844544&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2UCDkT7LSZNjsjvEy5FA9rltc8RoVuKVuQierNYG9M8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Phoenix Woman (not verified)</span> on 29 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844544">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844545" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414697343"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This really is very basic, everyone. For those of you who have spent anytime studying networks, you know that the communicative power of a network is proportional to the square of the number of people connected to the network. Ergo, by imposing travel bans you reduce the number of people in the network and thus degrade its communicative power (i.e., its rate of transmission). This is Science 101, folks, and is not open to dispute.</p> <p>I agree that our ability to combat ebola worldwide depends on trust between nations. But the suggestion that foreign governments will no longer trust us if we merely prevent common citizens from flying into our country is really a stretch, especially in light of everything we have done to help these afflicted countries.</p> <p>There seems to be a persistent, unspoken meme that Americans should be willing to sacrifice their safety and dare I say - peace of mind - so that less fortunate Africans can gain access to our health care system. This type of view is terribly disloyal to our fellow citizens. Even worse, the current policies that arise from this unspoken view also run counter to any notions of sound science.</p> <p>TJ</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844545&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wUpRZXLJ-jlN25PAzLupNWhhBBg_oISMKj5gDf3suSI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">TJ Harvey (not verified)</span> on 30 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844545">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1844546" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414723911"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Actually TJ, it is open to dispute because you're assuming no net gain of cases from the one lost to travel. I don't buy that, and neither do the people on the ground in West Africa. (Or Bill Foege, for example: <a href="http://www.humanosphere.org/basics/2014/10/op-ed-bill-foege-make-ebola-worse/">http://www.humanosphere.org/basics/2014/10/op-ed-bill-foege-make-ebola-…</a>). Conspiracy theories are gaining ground even here in the US (see Natural News &amp; his post on Kaci Hickox--I refuse to link it)--so why shouldn't they believe them at ground zero? </p> <p>If Americans want peace of mind, simple way to have it--eliminate the outbreak where it is occurring. Period.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844546&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="vCMHGtbKotLkyvknL4oOkMUU2Jsy9AIjltPe1Tqewgw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 30 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844546">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844547" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414789385"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>My last response to your post disappeared from your site, so I will attempt to re-post the gist of my message.</p> <p> The network at issue is the global community, and by removing a certain group of people from that community the communicative power of that network diminishes. This is mathematical truism that is not altered by the fact that a quarantined person might infect others in quarantine.</p> <p>I would also point out that the people on the ground ARE quarantining people, which has always been the default protocol for ebola. I think this speaks volumes about Mr. Foege's theories about limiting travel.</p> <p>Maintaining credibility in times like this is very important. Nothing is served by espousing conspiracy theories. However, nothing is gained by painting so rosy picture of the risks that the public loses faith in our institutions. This is precisely what is happening now.</p> <p>TJ</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844547&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="rF3xkbwspLwtkJI7yN8QeB6BTAbb2j4dcua0ztvLkcc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">TJ Harvey (not verified)</span> on 31 Oct 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844547">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1844548" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1416856888"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Why is it that Ebola and Anthrax dead end with humans? In the case of Ebola, does this mean that the reservoir transmits to humans and we can only spread it among ourselves, and cannot transmit back to susceptible species? I guess I am wondering if transmission only works one way (bats give it to humans, why can't humans infect susceptible bats?).</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1844548&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="scyXwraKP1HKH-kUI0cxHvOt_ammPGXONS6Zi8wwBbw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kristen (not verified)</span> on 24 Nov 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1844548">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/aetiology/2014/10/21/the-hot-zone-and-the-mythos-of-ebola%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:46:59 +0000 tsmith 58130 at https://scienceblogs.com Global Warming Negatively Impacts Wild Monkey Diets https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/09/20/global-warming-negatively-impacts-wild-monkey-diets <span>Global Warming Negatively Impacts Wild Monkey Diets</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Yes, yes, we hear it all the time: More CO2 is good because plants love CO2</p> <p>That is a rather dumb thing to say for a number of reasons; nature is not simple. You don't change one variable and expect other variables to respond as though we were turning a garden hose up or down. For example, while plant growth might be enhanced with more CO2 in the atmosphere, there is no reason to think this would be linear, or similar across all plants. You have to dance with the one who brung ya. The plants we have are the plants that have been under Darwinian selection optimizing growth and maintenance physiology for gazillions of plant generations. Changing a fundamental variable may have little effect (and in fact, CO2 increase only enhances growth somewhat, and for only some plants) and may even have negative effects. </p> <p>A new paper out in Ecology looks at the nutritional value of plants in a Ugandan rainforest and finds that the nutritional value of the leaves eaten by some Colobine monkeys there has declined, because fibre has increased at the expense of usable protein. <a href="http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/14-0391.1">From the abstract</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>Global change is affecting plant and animal populations and many of the changes are likely subtle and difficult to detect. Based on greenhouse experiments, changes in temperature and rainfall, along with elevated CO2, are expected to impact the nutritional quality of leaves. Here, we show a decline in the quality of tree leaves 15 and 30 years after two previous studies in an undisturbed area of tropical forest in Kibale National Park, Uganda. After 30 years in a sample of multiple individuals of ten tree species, the mature leaves of all but one species increased in fiber concentrations, with a mean increase of 10%; tagged individuals of one species increased 13% in fiber. After 15 years, in eight tree species the fiber of young leaves increased 15%, and protein decreased 6%. Like many folivores, Kibale colobus monkeys select leaves with a high protein-to-fiber ratio, so for these folivores declining leaf quality could have a major impact. Comparisons among African and Asian forests show a strong correlation between colobine biomass and the protein-to-fiber ratio of the mature leaves from common tree species. Although this model, predicts a 31% decline in monkey abundance for Kibale, we have not yet seen these declines.</p></blockquote> <p>Jessica M. Rothman, Colin A. Chapman, Thomas T. Struhsaker, David Raubenheimer, Dennis Twinomugisha, and Peter G. Waterman, 2014. Long term declines in nutritional quality of tropical leaves. <a href="http://www.esajournals.org/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1890%2F14-0391.1">Ecology</a></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:18</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/climate-change-0" hreflang="en">Climate Change</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/global-warming-1" hreflang="en">Global Warming</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/colobus-monkey" hreflang="en">Colobus Monkey</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/global-warming" hreflang="en">global warming</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/kibale-forest" hreflang="en">Kibale Forest</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1459060" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1411422791"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Many gardners know adding CO2 to sealed greenhouses works well ... given the right sun, water and nutrients, i.e., balanced to the right mix.</p> <p>Farm kids learn <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig%27s_law_of_the_minimum">Liebig's Law of the MInimum</a> pretty young.</p> <p>No matter how high the CO2 goes, teh Shara is not going to be Iowa.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1459060&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2fuLyN2ClXBSFXmeN6ChfEv2655WM0WSSYTaskKPXU4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">John Mashey (not verified)</span> on 22 Sep 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1459060">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1459061" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1411545433"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Well, I've always been one of those 'CO2 is plantfood' guys, myself. I think I can see that protein may become more concentrated in slower growning leaves. </p> <p>But, without looking at the paper (when I get the cookie page, it matters not what I do with cookies or scripts -- no page), </p> <blockquote><p>the fiber of young leaves increased 15%, and protein decreased 6%</p></blockquote> <p>So is that saying that although protien concentration went down the total protein still went up (bigger leaves)? -- Probably more of them to. </p> <p>Regardless, I feel it insignificant when considering Monstanto, factory farming, and monoculture crops -- Agenda 21 implementation to combat CO2 will destroy individual and small scale, distributed agriculture with its' attendant corruption and destruction of biodiversity. &lt;-- This is nothing more than controlling all life and it is happening <b>right now</b> </p> <p>Now, it is being advocated to replace healthy living biomes with *green desert*, pine forests, for higher 'sequestration' of CO2. This sequestration is 'higher' because the life is less. A healthy biosphere requires a healthy overturning of CO2. </p> <p><a href="http://treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/2420">http://treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/2420</a> </p> <p>And *they* hate kudzu also for the same reasons -- it produces healthy, rich soils and biodiversity whereas pine kills it. </p> <p><a href="http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/07/invasive-kudzu-drives-carbon-out-of-the-soil-into-the-atmosphere/">http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/07/invasive-kudzu-drives-carbon-out…</a> </p> <p>I *think* The <b>proper</b> way to sequester carbon into the soil, support a diverse biomass, and *grow* more rich soil would be to replicate/teach terra preta: </p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta#Organic_matter_and_nutrients">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta#Organic_matter_and_nutrients</a> </p> <p>As that doesn't fit the agenda, it will surely be outlawed in the home garden or otherwise treated like the weight of dirt and plant is the weight of plant when following sentencing guidelines of other brands of prohibition.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1459061&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DV16ss1zhncmMAWe9CISSYglbb518sMIT0gKyzPrrp0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tim (not verified)</span> on 24 Sep 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1459061">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1459062" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1411549174"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>After 30 years in a sample of multiple individuals of ten tree species, the mature leaves of all but one species increased in fiber concentrations, with a mean increase of 10%; tagged individuals of one species increased 13% in fiber. After 15 years, in eight tree species the fiber of young leaves increased 15%, and protein decreased 6%</p></blockquote> <p>"tagged individuals"</p> <p>which species didn't 'decline'? Did it enhance? </p> <p>"concentrations" is left hanging without disambiguatizing between concentration and 'total content' in that last sentence.... </p> <p>It's only the synopsis but, still, that is a bit of 'wiggle room' -- I'd be interested in the concentrations/content of the slightly older 'adolescent leaves'...</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1459062&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="k-Lby_8b8gauYuWvnlznvejGWHa_SLuQMYjImQhrpIM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tim (not verified)</span> on 24 Sep 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1459062">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2014/09/20/global-warming-negatively-impacts-wild-monkey-diets%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 11:18:58 +0000 gregladen 33335 at https://scienceblogs.com Is Curious George an Ape or a Monkey? https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/05/19/is-curious-george-an-ape-or-a-monkey <span>Is Curious George an Ape or a Monkey?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=as_li_qf_sp_sr_il_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;index=aps&amp;keywords=curious%20george&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=grlasbl0a-20&amp;linkId=TBZFEB4PAIKJ2RJA">Curious George</a> is called a "little monkey" in all of the Curious George <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=as_li_qf_sp_sr_il_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;index=aps&amp;keywords=curious%20george&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=grlasbl0a-20&amp;linkId=TBZFEB4PAIKJ2RJA">literature</a>, TV shows, and movies. But Curious George has no tail, and generally, that means you are an ape. But, there is one monkey with no tail, or at least one that is vestigial and not visible: The Barbary Macaque (<em>Macaca sylvanus</em>). For this reason, some have suggested that George is a monkey, specificaly, a Barbary Macaque or perhaps a close previously undiscovered species. </p> <p>However, one of the main features distinguishing between monkeys and apes is the intermembral index. This is simply the relative proportion of the forelimbs and hind limbs. Apes have short legs and long arms (unless you are a Man in a Yellow Hat variety of ape) while monkeys have more even length limbs. The image above compares a young Chimpanzee to stand in for the apes, a Barbary Macaque, and Curious George, with the limb lengths marked off with a red line. </p> <p>This seems to indicate the George is an Ape.</p> <p>Also, note that the Man in the Yellow Hat originally kidnapped George in a Jungle. </p> <p>There is another possibility, that Curious George is an undiscovered type of primate that is technically a Monkey but with certain Ape features. We are not certain of the genetic heritage of the <a href="http://gregladen.com/blog/sungudogo/">mysterious ape Sungudogo</a>, so perhaps George is one of those. </p> <p>Note that these comparisons are being made among Old World Primates. If New World Primates are included in the mix, there may end up being more questions than answers. </p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Mon, 05/19/2014 - 05:40</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/ape-or-monkey" hreflang="en">Ape or Monkey?</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/curious-george" hreflang="en">Curious George</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/sungudogo" hreflang="en">Sungudogo</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457307" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400495468"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>No tail? Ape.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457307&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="SzLDNP5ayhhEcNuB3bwo02zltCNdmxyGtzebbR8w6QM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Helga Vierich (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457307">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457308" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400497768"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thank you for addressing this. It's been bugging me for years.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457308&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="IfSOu7gjuNmhjGXtT7-b7m0pm7dNcFCuEdSvvQkRyRQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Physicalist (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457308">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457309" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400501836"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>you know, I always wondered why George didn't have a tail while all the other little monkeys in the zoo he visited did have tails!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457309&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Wncw1X1Ixf1-cXt7c5eDGDYsPEx6Gvk3D72BMjVMTtg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Maria (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457309">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457310" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400502388"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Exactly!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457310&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="QdmFaya2qov_lG98-vX3c0PJMABr5eOuMe8vcFprjfk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457310">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457311" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400502440"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>My family had a Macaque when I was growing up. I don't know which kind. I don't remember any kind of tail on Oscar. Maybe a short little stub. I do remember learning how to groom him. I was the only one to do that with him. I didn't know what it was or that it was a social function but I saw him doing it to himself. I must have felt sorry for him. After my experience growing up with a monkey for a pet I seriously discourage anyone from having one. </p> <p>They are extremely smart and they know the "score". You can't fool them. They also carry a grudge and will "get back at you" the first chance they get. One, of many examples. We had a gateway to our property that didn't have a gate. Just two posts. We chained Oscar to one of the posts in the good weather. He would loop his chain around the other post and wait for one of us to run by. At the proper moment he would pull the chain, thereby tripping the hapless human. </p> <p>There were other "tricks" with carefully placed feces. And one hilarious moment when he ran around my brother's foot trailing his chain while it was getting shorter and shorter. My brother was laughing at the "dumb" monkey running around while kicking his foot attempting to shake the chain off. In a moment the chain reached it's limit and Oscar was sitting on my brothers bare foot. My brother, no longer laughing, was still trying to shake the chain off but at this point chain and monkey were one with my brother's foot. It was at this time that Oscar chose to take a crap. My brother was helpless. He was kicking his leg but it was useless. Oscar had him right where he wanted him.</p> <p>We didn't keep score but if we did I think Oscar would have come out ahead. Don't get a monkey for a pet unless you expect him to make a fool of you.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457311&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="g4yfFHPnntLhLh5SG0FXBUR5eSIiGN1lbVhReRzK3QE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Richard Chapman (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457311">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457312" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400502580"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Crested Black Macaque (Macca nigra) doesn't really have much for a tail either. However, they have black fur, black skin, a similar intermembral index to M. sylvanus, and they don't look like George at all. So, that probably rules them out too.</p> <p>I favor the hypothesis that George is an ape, but probably a juvenile based on the low degree of prognathism he exhibits.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457312&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1tjNDcT0NTmbOeATw-BtU0BS1FbKNYzIGqYhbM7fymc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Andrew C. Holmes (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457312">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457313" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400518062"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Given the light coloured face, I suggest George is a common chimp, which means the Man is going to have some real problems when George gets to be about 5, unless he's been neutered.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457313&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="hcQjhuiqlBxsqE9jy7aYpgZ4ZIR9hheA_qxpupV1Kbg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">John S Wilkins (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457313">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <div class="indented"> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457317" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400525130"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"Given the light coloured face, I suggest George is a common chimp, which means the Man is going to have some real problems when George gets to be about 5, unless he’s been neutered."</p> <p>I'm not sure the Man with the Yellow Hat is going to go for being neutered.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457317&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="BSF7e6J30nVcofA-NOPGLE_NjlmOMapD4u5Cc2wl57o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457317">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p class="visually-hidden">In reply to <a href="/comment/1457313#comment-1457313" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en"></a> by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">John S Wilkins (not verified)</span></p> </footer> </article> </div> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457314" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400520436"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The reason Curious George is difficult to classify is that he is obviously a young Mangani, that species of ape found in Burrough's Tarzan books.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457314&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="D2mRGJemeyDG7_suhROulY-_RCEVWexFpj3Gh2ri9Q0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">anthrosciguy (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457314">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457315" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400522729"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>.. which is related to Sungudogo.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457315&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ahJI5noP97_mqE8C93g9Iog23QOWgSGvqbdwKnyrE9k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457315">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457316" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400523605"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The only reason anyone calls him a monkey is because they are a moron. He has not tail. He's an ape. And so are you.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457316&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="HTXWBDYbgd_5hJ-AUaO-wU1D0GUemRUgYFn-S18p_FM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Junglepete (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457316">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457318" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400539272"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On first blush I suspect that the lack of a tail is a result of Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey both having difficulty drawing them. Limbs move in predictable ways and getting a simian pose right is conceptual easy to master. But tails, lacking easy to define rules and having utility in both form, like expressing mood or dominance, and function as both balance and gripper are harder to draw in and make look natural. </p> <p>There is also the structure of the book intended for children. Without a tail Curious George is easy for a child to relate to. Add a tail and children might not so easily see themselves in CG. </p> <p>Chalk the lack of a tail up to artistic license and simplification of the graphics.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457318&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="IR_24tT8iVCRJBibb3fEHRwyIMps3PIUDp8Ctt-PkH0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Art (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457318">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457319" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400540738"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>He's a Bonobo.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457319&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="gJ2YClkzTvajWJKN1qNh_0Ilw8GS2W6aGyd6WXW4EfQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Angela (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457319">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457320" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400541461"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I like that you measured intermembral index, but you ignored hand posture. Only _Pan_ and _Gorilla_ among the extant primates knuckle-walk, which CG is clearly doing in the picture provided. No monkey holds their hands in such a position during locomotion. Case closed.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457320&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4cUXYX8nNxrdme-iNCNWWHROpWAxc-2SWVlfhQN-Rac"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dr. Todd C. Rae (not verified)</span> on 19 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457320">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457321" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400564055"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Interesting adaptive explanation, Art.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457321&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="i9zvVioDexzWz6gDCuDPKDHCSDuiKKZDsvOr6AOJnVQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 20 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457321">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457322" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400564175"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dr. Rae, excellent point. </p> <p>Angela, could be, but while common chimps have a light face bonobos have a dark face.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457322&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8GnijQ_HLUgQsZCgMskE_T6gkRnnI4-PoAvaWIPcUq8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 20 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457322">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457323" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400582307"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I really think you should write this up in a manner similar to the talk about the correct classification of Grandicrocavis viasesamiensis. ;-)</p> <p><a href="http://www.pechakucha.org/presentations/what-if-anything-is-big-bird">http://www.pechakucha.org/presentations/what-if-anything-is-big-bird</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457323&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="I95LJ4b0krBIj2dOzKYyd9beTCQb6waACzGjklwx7oM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Calli Arcale (not verified)</span> on 20 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457323">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457324" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1400583079"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I was thinking of doing something more formal and sumbitting it to JIR</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457324&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="gxz1uXeYBRhgJ__Uf2d-0k_18YntiRnw31RW8xjWD_M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 20 May 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457324">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457325" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1406207599"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It's animated fiction for goodness sake. The great thing about it is all of you who noticed and questioned it. Accidental he is called a monkey when obviously an ape, I think not. Food for thought. The disturbing thing to me is after every show on PBS they have a classroom of kids 5-7 yo summarize the cartoon and the first sentence is always "George is a monkey, he can do things that you and I can't"<br /> True that, he can also do things other monkeys can't because he isn't a real monkey.......he's just a cartoon (but what awesome cartoon monkey he is!)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457325&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5g0_JneAryxAZwlCC_nLVZL9g-JwHAirojKREjngXMg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sally V (not verified)</span> on 24 Jul 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457325">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457326" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1410622342"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Remember that Curious George first came out in 1939. What I read once said that back then the term 'ape' wasn't commonly used. So, I guess, for tradition's sake, they just kept calling him a monkey.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457326&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="SbiOSZn7bf7J96BKwrzzQe9vu5hrclDoTsg9FbORULo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Alex (not verified)</span> on 13 Sep 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457326">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <div class="indented"> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457327" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1410623517"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The word "ape" has always been more common in relation to the number of ape species than has the word "monkey"! </p> <p><a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=ape%2C+monkey&amp;year_start=1800&amp;year_end=2000&amp;corpus=15&amp;smoothing=3&amp;share=&amp;direct_url=t1%3B%2Cape%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cmonkey%3B%2Cc0">https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=ape%2C+monkey&amp;year_start=…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457327&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2k8f2x0BttDt3JcG_bUAIo5bOKqVALCRw7TcY1mLEWc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 13 Sep 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457327">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p class="visually-hidden">In reply to <a href="/comment/1457326#comment-1457326" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en"></a> by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Alex (not verified)</span></p> </footer> </article> </div> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457328" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414838353"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I imagine the ironically named Curious George is the product of an era when folks actually weren't curious enough - even cartoon writers - to actually care whether animals where properly classified. Monkeys were apes, whales were fish, gay men in yellow suits were simple bachelors, and it was ethically OK to kidnap species from their habitat to keep as pets</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457328&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ytqgzb2PoLfc38fQ2R8oXMx-MCls-pGggqKdEoVsVVo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Miyo Pinion (not verified)</span> on 01 Nov 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457328">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <div class="indented"> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457329" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1414840058"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I don't think he's gay, because he has an obvious crush on the director of the museum. He is way out of her league of course but she find him cute. I think George is secretly set on interfering with their relationship developing because he is obviously addicted to attention.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457329&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="VPGK1n12Gt57lttb_40SexDDUkwB_sHZdRP5HoV3jy4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 01 Nov 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457329">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p class="visually-hidden">In reply to <a href="/comment/1457328#comment-1457328" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en"></a> by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Miyo Pinion (not verified)</span></p> </footer> </article> </div> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457330" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1415789513"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It could be that at the time the stories were written the writer was ignorant and did not know the difference between apes and monkeys. I know when I was a child I thought Chimps were monkeys. So maybe he drew a chimp but thought it was a monkey.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457330&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jXFqdwmk1qtfJ4L9eyEHa_yCl3z-blMA5D1ptzYonhI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Rich (not verified)</span> on 12 Nov 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457330">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457331" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1416127431"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The story I heard, is that George originally had a tail in the preliminary drawings, but the first story featuring him ("Rafi et les neuf singes", translated as Cecily Giraffe and the Nine Monkeys) had, as the title indicates, eight other monkeys in it, and between the giraffe's neck and the nine monkeys' tails, the drawings were beginning to resemble a plate of spaghetti, so the artist simply eliminated the tails and Zozo (er, George) has lacked a tail ever since.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457331&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="DxaBhMtsPvtCJBg0AVI4T_Isqs_hon5u1UX7yc3LAyA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Shalom (not verified)</span> on 16 Nov 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457331">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457332" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1416127859"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Shalom, interesting idea. There is no evidence to support it, unfortunately. Neither Zozo nor george, including George as introduced in Rafi et les neuf singes, are ever show with a tail. Do you have any references to this that would constitute proof, an old drawing, interview with the illustrator, something?</p> <p>It is an interesting idea and a reasonable hypothesis but I wonder...</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457332&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="W2Lz3F69edLOoix6yufYZDPkZRdpJ6xdaMr2be35ZTI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 16 Nov 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457332">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1457333" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1416127885"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Rich, I'd say that is a good probability.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457333&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3WUmZIN4DgcoFs0uprQnxf0y_QIy15PbsOYhShMjU0s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 16 Nov 2014 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457333">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457334" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1440670995"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>George is ape, like so many have pointed out he doesn't have a tail. He also stands up right, but when he doesn't he is a knuckle-walker which is an ape thing. Monkeys will walk flat handed, with their palm on the ground. The man in the yellow hat is misinformed.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457334&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_bW0KOJUmv-YS0GyYs68Uhf9C_K_98bYWdphTgbyCtw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Riley (not verified)</span> on 27 Aug 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457334">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457335" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1443318154"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I always corius...what species George is...but I think it is Orang Utan. Because it very similar, like orang utan, it has no tail and George color also the same like Orang Utan and that is brown.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457335&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jgJd2MKtn02_NB6GyBRqygG6VXFZnlpcf-vc-blYNYQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Abdul (not verified)</span> on 26 Sep 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457335">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1457336" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1458864675"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>My son and i have been arguing about this. Its great to have some independent validation that George is an ape - not a monkey. That said, after showing him the 'evidence', my 4 year old boy just told me to stop fussing'....</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1457336&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="GlEHFkwG_ag_Qs0v1dTsWtJfNgT8kqEWwlsxDUX4x8k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">mike (not verified)</span> on 24 Mar 2016 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1457336">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2014/05/19/is-curious-george-an-ape-or-a-monkey%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 19 May 2014 09:40:44 +0000 gregladen 33181 at https://scienceblogs.com Amazingly cute new primate species in Borneo https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/12/13/amazingly-cute-new-primate-species-in-borneo <span>Amazingly cute new primate species in Borneo</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Slow Loris (Genus <em>Nycticebus</em>) is a category of prosimian (primates that are neither monkey or ape) that lives in southeast Asia. Most prosimian species live on the island of Madagascar, but there are several African and Asian forms, all of which are nocturnal. The Slow Loris is special because it is the only primate we know of that has a toxic bite. </p> <p><span style="float: left; padding: 5px;"><a href="http://www.researchblogging.org"><img alt="ResearchBlogging.org" src="http://www.researchblogging.org/public/citation_icons/rb2_large_gray.png" style="border:0;" /></a></span>The total number of nocturnal primates known has increased considerably over the years and I'd wager there are many more to be found. “Technological advances have improved our knowledge about the diversity of several nocturnal mammals,” said Rachel Munds from the University of Missouri Columbia. “Historically many species went unrecognized as they were falsely lumped together as one species. While the number of recognized primate species has doubled in the past 25 years some nocturnal species remain hidden to science.”</p> <p>Tomorrow, a paper will be released providing the diagnosis of a new species of slow loris. From the abstract:</p> <blockquote><p>The slow lorises ... once included only two species, but recent taxonomic studies resulted in the description of three additional species; ... The Bornean loris in particular is characterized by pelage and body size variation. In this study, we explored facemask variation in the Bornean loris (<em>N. menagensis</em>). Differing facemask patterns, particularly influenced by the amount of white on the face, significantly clustered together by geographic regions, separated by notable geographic boundaries. Our results support the recognition of four species of Bornean lorises: N. menagensis, N. bancanus, N. borneanus, and N. kayan. Genetic studies are required to support these findings and to refine further our understanding of the marked variability within the Bornean loris populations</p></blockquote> <p>Previously, one species of Bornean slow loris, with three subspecies, was recognized. The present study elevates the three subspecies to species status and add the fourth as a new discovery. Obviously, this significantly increases our conception of diversity in the nocturnal Bornean rainforest. One of the biggest threats to these animals is the pet trade. “The pet trade is a serious threat for slow lorises in Indonesia, and recognition of these new species raises issues regarding where to release confiscated Bornean slow lorises, as recognition by non-experts can be difficult,” said co-author Professor Nekaris, from Oxford Brookes University.</p> <p>The study used 25 photographs and 27 museum specimens including the type specimens for two of the previously designated subspecies. A large number of features were examined and measured, of which eight showed variation across the sample, thus showing promise to use as in classification. Here is an example of one of the traits, called "Crown":</p> <p><a href="/files/gregladen/files/2012/12/Screen-Shot-2012-12-13-at-4.03.30-PM.png"><img src="/files/gregladen/files/2012/12/Screen-Shot-2012-12-13-at-4.03.30-PM.png" alt="" title="Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 4.03.30 PM" width="465" height="410" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-14922" /></a></p> <p>Various fancy statistical analysis were done to produce two "functions" (combinations of variables) that separate the samples as indicated in this graph:</p> <p><a href="/files/gregladen/files/2012/12/Screen-Shot-2012-12-13-at-4.00.42-PM.png"><img src="/files/gregladen/files/2012/12/Screen-Shot-2012-12-13-at-4.00.42-PM.png" alt="" title="Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 4.00.42 PM" width="583" height="440" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-14921" /></a></p> <p>These traits clearly sort out the groups, and these groups have geographical distinctions as well.</p> <blockquote><p>Group 1 is on the island of Bangka and in the southwestern portion of Borneo south of the Kapuas River and east to the Barito River; this group’s boundaries appear not to extend all the way east to Barito River. Group 2 is found in central Borneo, north of the Kapuas and Mahakam Rivers. It is often found in higher ele- vations, but is not restricted to them. The boundary of Group 3 overlaps in part with Group 1, as it is found north of the Kapuas River, but its range ex- tends as far east as the Barito River. Finally, Group 4 inhabits the southern Philippines and northern and eastern Borneo, primarily in coastal and low- land areas. It does not range south of the Mahakam River.</p></blockquote> <p>So there are now four species: <em>N menagensis, N. bancanus, N. borneanus</em> and <em>N. kayan</em>. That last one is the new designation, and is named for a river flowing through the region in which it lives.. </p> <p>The conservation and research project responsible for this work has a web page with cute pictures, interesting videos, and more information on conservation related matters: <a href="http://www.nocturama.org/">Prof Anna Nekaris' Little Fireface Project</a></p> <p><span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.jtitle=American+Journal+of+Primatology&amp;rft_id=info%3A%2F10.1002%2Fajp.22071&amp;rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fresearchblogging.org&amp;rft.atitle=Taxonomy+of+the+Bornean+Slow+Loris%2C+with+new+species+Nycticebus+kayan+%28Primates%2C+Lorisidae%29&amp;rft.issn=&amp;rft.date=2012&amp;rft.volume=75&amp;rft.issue=&amp;rft.spage=46&amp;rft.epage=56&amp;rft.artnum=&amp;rft.au=Munds%2C+Rachel&amp;rft.au=Nekaris%2C+K.A.&amp;rft.au=Ford%2C+Susan&amp;rfe_dat=bpr3.included=1;bpr3.tags=Anthropology%2CEcology+%2F+Conservation%2CPrimates%2C+Prosimians%2C+Loris">Munds, Rachel, Nekaris, K.A., &amp; Ford, Susan (2012). Taxonomy of the Bornean Slow Loris, with new species Nycticebus kayan (Primates, Lorisidae) <span style="font-style: italic;">American Journal of Primatology, 75</span>, 46-56 : <a rev="review" href="10.1002/ajp.22071">10.1002/ajp.22071</a></span></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Thu, 12/13/2012 - 10:11</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/borneo" hreflang="en">Borneo</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/nycticebus-kayan" hreflang="en">Nycticebus kayan</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/slow-loris" hreflang="en">slow loris</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1449416" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1355420347"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This is most timely, Greg. My significant other's headed to Borneo next month. Maybe she'll get to see some of these guys, and, hopefully, even bring back a photo or two to regale me. Cool!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1449416&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="MRP8jw4YONfX1l94G81p7KmVfNoJryN5R1ybFxfQOhE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pete Moulton (not verified)</span> on 13 Dec 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1449416">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2012/12/13/amazingly-cute-new-primate-species-in-borneo%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Thu, 13 Dec 2012 15:11:07 +0000 gregladen 32367 at https://scienceblogs.com Where do pandemics come from? https://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2012/12/04/where-do-pandemics-come-from <span>Where do pandemics come from?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I discuss the topic of emerging infectious diseases today over at <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/pandemics/2012/12/origins_of_new_diseases_zoonotic_pandemics_come_from_bats_birds_monkeys.single.html#pagebreak_anchor_2">Slate</a>, as part of their <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/pandemics.html">Pandemic series</a>. </p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a></span> <span>Tue, 12/04/2012 - 11:35</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/general-epidemiology" hreflang="en">General Epidemiology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/historical-studies-disease" hreflang="en">Historical studies of disease</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/infectious-disease" hreflang="en">infectious disease</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/bats" hreflang="en">bats</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/mice" hreflang="en">mice</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/rats" hreflang="en">rats</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/viruses" hreflang="en">viruses</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/zoonoses" hreflang="en">zoonoses</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/infectious-disease" hreflang="en">infectious disease</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1843877" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1354669336"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Tara, it's been ten years since I read Paul Ewald's "Evolution of Infectious Diseases" and I'm curious about the current thinking about emerging infectious diseases in that context.</p> <p>I'm aware that both of the main hypothesis that Ewald puts forward in this context — the 1918 flu pandemic and HIV — have been disproven. This is damaging to Ewald's argument, of course, but it's also perhaps unfortunate that he went out on a limb, given that the essential argument — pathogens will evolve toward increasing virulence under certain conditions — seems to be moderately well-established in more narrow contexts.</p> <p>So the consensus was, and remains, that highly virulent pathogens and the occasional resulting pandemics are generally zoonotic. But it's still possible, isn't it, that an endemic pathogen could take a strong turn toward virulence if the ecological conditions were dramatically altered — specifically, that a reliance upon an ambulatory, less-virulent direct contagion would be superceded by a new external vector, lessening the selection against virulence?</p> <p>Is there new, important work in the evolution of pathogens, or has this (the work of Ewald's et alia) been refuted or just dormant?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1843877&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="SjItRF3HVTf9m33Ga0EhJi27tO6PxfEG9cw5PlOPu8g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Keith M Ellis (not verified)</span> on 04 Dec 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1843877">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="65" id="comment-1843878" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1354673085"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I'm also a bit rusty in this area, but at least since the last time I looked into it maybe a year ago, I think largely just dormant. Unfortunately there seem to be many exceptions to the "rules" Ewald put forth, so it's been difficult to really pin down general trends in the evolution of virulence. I like his underlying ideas and they seem to make sense, but biology is just so messy it seems that for every "rhinovirus evolves to avirulence" you get a "yeah, except in this case..." scenario.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1843878&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="iSGaoYLOv85hARup3gM_5pJ3oVVIc6V3Enx9FsBO9pY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/aetiology" lang="" about="/aetiology" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tsmith</a> on 04 Dec 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1843878">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/aetiology"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/aetiology" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/me-and-pig-120x120.jpg?itok=nb6hvLpH" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user tsmith" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1843879" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1354744790"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thanks. I'm just an (informed) layperson, but I was very impressed with Ewald's book and I agree with you that his ideas make a lot of sense. The two different directions — epidemiology and clinical evolutionary medicine — both seemed to me to be full of promise, accounting for something that had in the past been overlooked and which can sometimes be of crucial importance. The case studies he presents about the neonatal units still loom large in my mind, ten years since I read the book.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1843879&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="QwfJfB07JQJN5h6bldxBMnRbtAtJhAVduECIEPTfGUc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Keith M Ellis (not verified)</span> on 05 Dec 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1843879">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1843880" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1354917720"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Tara - I posted this to Orac, to get some scientists involved in the question. Maybe I'm misreading it, although the comments seem to make my reading sure, but people seem to be arguing that it is better for HIV+ people to conceal their condition and have unprotected sex then for them to reveal it and possibly suffer prejudice or discrimination. That's how a lot of us read it, but it would be nice to hear the perspective of someone who is familiar with infectious diseases.</p> <p><a href="http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/2012/12/05/hivaids-stigma-canadian-edition-lite/">http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/2012/12/05/hivaids-stigma-canadi…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1843880&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mrlEdy-Lng2HlHuyaTxHILgla-DlqjhJOOw3h0n4aLI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Badger3k (not verified)</span> on 07 Dec 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1843880">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1843881" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1356104473"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>One example I coud think of a pathogen turning MORE pathogenic due to changes in environment is the recent investigation into salmonella evolution in the age of HIV <a href="http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22318-hiv-could-be-turning-salmonella-nastier.html">http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22318-hiv-could-be-turning-salmon…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1843881&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pHqxpzk1pI_ulACQVBLHtOrw2-STRo7n6UMFyWFCMkg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Connor Bamford (not verified)</span> on 21 Dec 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1843881">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/aetiology/2012/12/04/where-do-pandemics-come-from%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 16:35:02 +0000 tsmith 58059 at https://scienceblogs.com Understanding Sex Differences in Humans: What do we learn from nature? https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/11/26/understanding-sex-differences-in-humans-what-do-we-learn-from-nature <span>Understanding Sex Differences in Humans: What do we learn from nature?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Nature is a potential source of guidance for our behavior, morals, ethics, and other more mundane decisions such as how to build an airplane and what to eat for breakfast. When it comes to airplanes, you'd better be a servant to the rules of nature or the airplane will go splat. When it comes to breakfast, it has been shown that knowing about our evolutionary history can at times be a more efficacious guide to good nutrition than the research employed by the FDA, but you can live without this approach. Nature works when it comes to behavior too, but there are consequences. You probably would not like the consequences.</p> <p>The question at hand is this: Should men and women be given fundamentally different rights? Would it be OK if men and women had different pay for the same job, or different access to jobs? Would it be OK if men and women were treated differently by the law in a way that accounted for the behavioral differences between them that arise from their biology which, in turn, may be partly a function of their evolutionary history? Should men and women have different status because of their gender? Similar questions can be extended to people that are biologically different in other ways, such as by age, gender orientation, physical handicap or, should it be proven a valid categorization, race. But for now, let's stick with the basic adult male vs. female difference. </p> <!--more--><p> [This is a heavily rewritten post originally published <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2008/12/31/the-natural-basis-for-gender-i/">here</a>.]</p> <p>The idea is very simple: That which we observe in nature is the best guide to how things should be. We see that in mammals mothers nurse their young. Departures from this (bottle feeding, early weening, feeding young something other than mother's milk, etc.) are risky and often have negative consequences. In the modern, Western, industrialized world, there is a socially constructed balance between natural and non natural choices. A child that is fatally allergic to mother's milk would be left to die if being raised in a "state of nature." But in practice, the life of such a child is placed at a higher value than one's philosophical purity, and non-natural intervention (feeding the child soy milk from a bottle) is chosen as the 'correct' decision. In truth, day to day, we may be utterly arbitrary in adherence to or ignorance (willful or otherwise) of the naturalistic premise. We do what is convenient, what feels good, what provides us some good (money, status, etc.). Then later we explain our decision rhetorically as necessary. But that, dear reader, is a whole other post. </p> <p>Nature, as a guideline, is often invoked when considering political or economic decisions. Free market capitalism is natural. Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest, is natural. </p> <p>Let's look at the idea that nature argues for differential pay between men and women. The premise is that women get paid less than men. There is plenty of room for clarification here ... do women get paid less than men for the same exact job? Do women get paid the same but end up with a lower salary because they take unpaid leave to have babies? Do women get paid the same but end up with lower pay because they take unpaid leave which indirectly contributes to slower (in calendar time) advancement on the pay scale? Are women kept out of jobs, or even entire professions, that tend to be higher paid? Some or all of the above? For the present purposes, none of these questions matter, as you will see.</p> <p>To orient the argument, let's consider the following list of hypothetical comments that may be found on the internet. </p> <ul><li>Is every way we treat the two genders differently insulting? Why stop at 24% lower salary? How about holding the door for the weaker sex? How about only women getting to improve their daily look with make-up, while men doing it are ridiculed? Why must the stronger sex always carry all the groceries?</li> <li>Is paying men and women equally really fair? Women and men are different, have different strengths and advantages, and different limitations. Those are obviously a very large part of the reason why salaries are skewed.</li> <li>...it is evolutionarily more important for men to earn money, as money is earned for status, and not for consumption. </li> <li>...physically ... Men are stronger, taller, and don't get pregnant. </li> <li>Psychologically ... Men are more aggressive, more ambitious, more authoritative, more psychopathic, less caring of others ... </li> <li>...being more aggressive, more ambitious, more authoritative, more psychopathic, less caring of others are "qualities" that are sought in CEOs...</li> <li>...hiring a woman in a job involves the risk that she will be unable to work if she gets pregnant. The "worth" of that employee is thus modified as a result.</li> <li>...if you hire a person who is likely to die soon the employee is worth less to an employer than someone who is guaranteed to live for a long time and work in that job.</li> <li>...in divorces it is usually the wife who gets the children. .... The higher salary of men as compensation for that fact.</li> <li>Bottom line is salary difference has a biological basis. Until it is thoroughly understood why there is that difference why come out and say it should be abandoned.</li> <li>Women are on average less strong than men. That there is variation doesn't change that the probability that a random man is stronger than a random woman is above fifty percent.</li> </ul><p>I would argue that these and similar beliefs are not matters of opinion nor are they matters of political correctness. The discussion at hand has a deep and rich intellectual history, and embracing pure and unadulterated reference to nature in such a male-biased way (or any way for that matter) is no more acceptable than embracing a heliocentric universe as a student of physical sciences. We've been there, done that, and we called it the Middle Ages. Nonetheless, lets look at the argument in more detail.</p> <p>A nature-based justification of human behavior may take into account the fact that we are mammals. Our mammalness encompasses many of the critically important facets of our lives. We have approximately two sexes, a male (producing sperm) and a female (producing ova). Pregnancy lasts a long time relative to the overall life cycle of a given female. The females nurse the young, adding significant time in the form of child care. In mammals, males fight or display for sexual access, and females are either herded or harassed by males or choose males with which to mate, and males provide virtually no offspring care in most species. In some species there is courting and female choice, in others, hormonally mediated sexual arousal and activity, in others, what we might call rape, or to chose a better term, forced copulation, may be routine.</p> <p>That is a pretty wide range of behaviors, but one must use this wide range to describe 'typical' mammals, as they do vary somewhat. There are key characteristics that do pertain to all mammals, however: Pregnancy and nursing being entirely female, longish period of offspring care, and internal fertilization which results in a certain amount of paternal uncertainty (unclear attribution of fatherhood) for all males. </p> <p>Given this, we may expect human males to be less choosy (sexually) than females, we may expect males to be promiscuous, we may expect females to be more cautious, we may expect males to be show-offs and often more violent than females, and we may expect males to be bigger and stronger than females. </p> <p>But really, we are mammals but we are also primates, which is a subset of mammals. Would it not be more appropriate to look to primates, rather than mammals, to understand our fundamental natures? </p> <p>Well, most primates are either solitary or monogamous, with males and females not differing very much in size. Mating happens as a matter of female choice more than male fighting in most primate species. In many primate species, especially the polyandrous ones (where a single female has two or more male mates) there is a certain amount of male care of offspring, while in others, not so much. There is not a big difference in the danger level of males vs. females in most primates; predators are not choosy in this regard. So, our evolutionary heritage as primates actually looks quite different than if we look more broadly at mammals. Based on a primate-wide model, we might expect male humans to track females very carefully, be more or less at their service with respect to child care, and there should be very little difference between the sexes in who gets to use force or coercion for personal gain. Males and females would roughly share the job of protecting home and hearth (proverbially or otherwise). Males in many cases would not know if they are the father of a particular female's offspring, but they would remain devoted to the female and her young because the young are related in some way (the multiple males hooked up to individual females would typically be brothers or half brothers, for instance). </p> <p>But really, while we are in fact primates, we are actually Old World Primates. If we remove the prosimians and the New World Primates from the mix, we get a different picture.</p> <p>Looking more narrowly at the Old World Primates, we actually drop all of the polyandry and most of the monogamy. We now get a pretty large difference, on average, in body size of males vs. females, but male coercion is rarely a means of sexual interaction ... rather, females and males both engage in quite a bit of politics (these are smart animals) and these political interactions are mediated by quite a bit of biting and poking (within both males and females, but maybe more so in males). The result is often a parallel (male vs. female) set of hierarchies, and position in these hierarchies determines for males who gets to mate and for females who ends up most successfully raising offspring.</p> <p>From this perhaps we can understand such human behaviors as guys getting together to do sports and gals getting together to shop and compete over makeup and shoes. Gossip, politics, personal status, etc. are all expectable pastimes or passions from such an Old World Primate ancestry.</p> <p>But wait, the Old World Primates diversified a VERY long time ago. Maybe we should look at the subset of Old World Primates of which we are a part ... the apes. </p> <p>The majority of ape species are monomorphic in body size (the males and females are the same size) and life-long pair bonding. Both males and females are physically equipped (strong bodies, big canines) to defend the territory and the young, and both take similar roles in this regard, though the females nurse the young so there is some difference in male vs. female role in offspring care. A considerable effort is put into care of offspring overall, and with setting them up in new territories, etc., and this sort of care involves the males at least as much as the females. </p> <p>So we might expect humans, as apes, to be highly monogamous and for both sexes to put huge amounts of efforts into offspring ... somewhat different in style but with similar levels of effort for males vs. females.</p> <p>But hold on a second there... we are apes, yes, and this characterizes the average ape because gibbons and siamangs are all apes. But we are great apes! The great apes constitutes a smaller taxonomic group. Maybe we should look at the great apes only and forget the gibbons and siamangs.</p> <p>OK, when we do that, we are looking at orangs, gorillas, chimps, and bonobos. Orangs have a very high level of sexual dimorphism, are primarily vegetarian, and the most typical form of sexual interaction is either forced copulation ("rape") or females swooning over gigantic, and presumably very sexy, but rare, super males. All offspring care is female. In fact, the largest social group among these apes is the mother and offspring with a random male busy raping the female while the offspring hangs out on a nearby branch eating some wild figs. Gorillas also have a high level of dimorphism in body size, but live in large groups with the key group structure consisting of a silver back male and a harem of females who are totally devoted to and sexually monogamous with the male until a lone silver back starts to show up and kill the female's infant offspring now and then. When that happens, the females join the infanticidal male and abandoned their devoted and gentle silver back. </p> <p>These two apes provide very different models, but are similar in that females are either raped or have their children killed (and they can stop that by joining the killer) and when push comes to shove, the enormously large males get to do all the pushing. This would suggest that humans get comfortable with a very male dominated society and that the females should just get in line. Fast.</p> <p>But hold on, we are much much more closely related to the chimpanzees ... common chimp and bonobo ... than to these other apes. So let's look at their lifestyles.</p> <p>Both groups have the unusual and interesting feature of adult and potentially sexually mature males and females living in the same group. When a female is in a state of ovulation, she also enters a state of estrus ... the visible display of ovulation. Some of the males may be forced to not mate with this female (forced by dominant males) but for the most part every male mates with such a female. Over time, all of the females go into estrus one or two at a time. So, over the course of a few years, every single male will eventually have potentially baby-making sex with every single female. This is done in the form of giant orgies in which only one female participates.</p> <p>That is true for common chimps, but it is also true for bonobos, with an added twist. All the chimps have lots of what I will call erotic interaction all the time, including auto erotic. But for bonobos, there is the added feature of almost every possible gender and age combination of erotic interaction, and every combination of body part interaction. So a young female may provide oral sex to an older male. An older male may provide oral sex to a young male. Two adult females may engage in genital-genital rubbing. And so on and so forth. Young male chimps do not seem to have sex with their mothers. Otherwise, pretty much every combination happens.</p> <p>So, given the chimp model, we should all be bisexual and disregard age of our sexual partners. Almost all baby making sex should involve a gang bang lasting several days. We should have strong male hierarchies and female hierarchies that determine, ultimately, who gets to be the father of each child (more or less) not by who has sex with whom, but by regulating exactly when in the ovulatory cycle intromissive sex with male orgasm happens. If we lean towards the common chimp model, all males should be dominant over all females. If we lean towards the bonobo model, all females should be dominant over all males. </p> <p>So, that is the sum of our naturalistic models ... where they come from and how we might use them ... assuming that our evolutionary heritage, our phylogenetic framework, our Darwinian determinism, should provide us with the best naturalistic guidance. </p> <p>But hold on a second. Humans are ape, yes, but we are also part of a subset of apes that diversified from a chimp-like ancestor millions of years ago. Roughly speaking, these were the "Austrlopiths." They were chimp like in size, probably dimorphic in body size, with some species being as dimorphic as chimps, others much more dimorphic, in the gorilla and orang range. None of the adults had impressive canines, they walked upright and had hands that were probably better at manipulating tools than are those of chimps. Their upright stance may have made the estrus signal of a sexual swelling impossible. They lived in woodlands and savanna environments, not dense forest. These characteristics suggest that they may have been a lot more like chimps than anything else, but there is an important difference: Some of these species, especially after about 2.5 million years ago, seemed to use stone tools, and they may have had slightly larger brains. Using stone tools, especially chipped stone tools, adds a complication. Stone tools require some degree of investment, to find and shape the raw material. In a purely chimp-like social system, this can not really happen because any investment by the average individual would be wasted when a dominant individual came along and took the stone tool(s) away to use them. If Australopiths of this later period, or their close relatives, used stone tools very often and relied on them, the social system must have involved the ability to "protect" this investment, to make contracts among individuals to not be so chimp-like and grabby all the time. This implies that there could also be social contracts among individuals that may have allowed a different system of mating and child raring, one that might involve more monogamy and more male parental care.</p> <p>At some point in time, just under 2.0 million years ago, human ancestors changed dramatically from this forest-ape form. They got big, about doubling in body mass, which meant being able to garner much more food from the environment. Their brains doubled in size, which required not only much more food (the brain is a hungry organ) but also special kinds of food for youngsters with growing brains. Also, the difference in body size between males and females went way down, and the stone tools became much more sophisticated, indicating that they were sometimes made and used for weeks or months, not just expediently. This idea of a social contract involving both possessions and mates probably became very important. Is is possible that for the first time, mates pairs could exist in a social group with a number of sexually mature males and females without too much of that crazy chimpanzee and bonobo behavior. They may have been very human like. But note, they would have been human like in ways that were not Australopith-like, not chimp-like, not great ape-like, not ape-like, not Old World primate-like, not primate-like, and not mammal-like. Some of the most important things about the behavior of those early members of the genus <em>Homo</em>, maybe nearly all of their distinguishing characteristics, were unique in the mammal/primate/monkey/ape world. </p> <p>To help understand this transition in evolutionary history, we might consider building an alternative model based on nature, by reference to something that is not even a mammal: Birds. </p> <p>We might be mammals, but we act like birds. Like chimps, we exist in societies with multiple potentially sexually mature males and females. But we tend to pair bond (or nearly so) within this framework. In this sense, we are very different than our closest living mammal relatives (who, by the way, are relatively very distant in relationship compared to many other pairs of species!). We are not that closely related to birds, but if we look at a wide range of human societies who are known to live off the land ('preagricultural' groups, either in the present or ethnohistorically known), we see that human societies are often very close to bird societies. We have some kind of monogamy that occasionally develops into a bit of polyandry (like traditional Tibetan highland groups and the phalaropes (birds) of the arctic) or a bit of polygyny (like many cattle keeping groups or the oft-studied oft-cited red winged blackbirds and many other birds). But even in societies that do allow polygyny, most families are based on monogamy, though it is serial monogamy (like the vast majority of bird species including almost all song birds). Yet, when certain economic features ... like land (nesting sites) and professional or social milieu (territories) are essential to status and wealth, we have very long term monogamous systems in humans such as the immutable Christian Victorian marriage (or in birds the life long bonding of raptors). In all cases, there is a LOT of care invested in offspring, and males and females deliver similar levels ... and in some species very similar kinds ... of this care in birds. In humans, there is also considerable care in offspring but ... alas ... we are mammals so males can't nurse the young, and this starts a cascade of male-female differences. Perhaps females care for the young directly while the males busy themselves defending the territory. </p> <p>Why, it is rather remarkable how birds map human variation in society in so many ways. But not all. Birds rarely live in tightly knit, spatially close groups of sexually active pairs. One example of this is nesting sea birds like gulls and terns. And for gulls and terns, the big risk with respect to producing offspring is not so much that your neighbor has slept with your mate. Rather, the risk is that your neighbor eats your babies when you are distracted. Happens all the time with those creatures.</p> <p>Dear reader, if you are still with me (and I would understand if you've gotten bored or frustrated and gone away by now) then you can easily see this point: We have a rich supply of models from which we can draw nature-based conclusions, and these models can be used to 'justify' or explain almost anything. </p> <p>A better question might be: What is the premise we choose, as a society, to be the basis of our ethical and moral codes, our laws, etc.? For many people, this premise is mutualism. We agree to equality of all individuals (with special exceptions). This equality does not mean individuals are identical. Indeed, there may be categorical differences among groups. Females do have babies, males do not. But equal rights are to be preserved. </p> <p>This does not mean that the consideration of and reference to nature goes away. What it should mean is that nature-based models can not be used to justify systematic social, cultural, legal, economic, philosophical, or political inequalities. But they can be used, if used properly (and that is an academic, not political issue), to explain some things. In my opinion, we are very very far from being able to explain much with what we currently know, and certainly not at the pop psychology level of which so many seem so fond. </p> <p>But I do want to make an attempt at a nature-based consideration of modern human society with respect to two realities. One, females have the babies and males do not, and two, males tend to be more violent and aggressive than females.</p> <p>The fundamental reality of these propositions needs to be tested first. Do the females really have the babies, and what does this mean? Well, it is not so simple. For the most part, females do have the babies but with modern approaches it is possible and indeed quite common, and in some cases, necessary, for males to have much more input in offspring care in humans than one might otherwise predict from a purely nature-based model. For example ... and very few people know this, and learning this is your reward for sticking with me this far along in this post ... I personally fed my daughter for her entire nursing period. I held her, I gave her the milk, we stared into each other's eyes and bonded, the whole nine yards. Not her mother. Me. So, while the female clearly has a major biological commitment to the process, it is not as absolute as one might assume.</p> <p>With respect to male violence and aggression: Margaret Mead was wrong but not totally wrong. Males are always, without exception, more violent and aggressive, on average (and bigger and stronger too) than the females when the comparison is made in the same society. Maybe a little, maybe a lot, and males do not have a monopoly on this sort of behavior. The absolute level of aggression and violence among both males and females is highly variable to the extent that there are societies with females who are more violent and aggressive than the males in other societies. Most importantly, the level of difference between males and females in a given society ... and especially the level of male control over females ... varies greatly. There are societies in which there is very little difference between males and females, and there are societies in which the difference is great. Americans: You live in a society where the difference is considerable, more than the average. That is not how it has to be. </p> <p>So, with respect to our individual selfish Darwinian reproductive goals, our broader social (territorial, economic, etc.) goals, and our cultural fixations, babies and aggression are both important. Offspring are our Darwinian legacy; sons are guns; little girls grow up and give their parents more Darwins (a unit of fitness). Sexual access must be ensured and paternity managed. Territory must be held, resources protected. And so on. </p> <p>The problem is that only the ladies can have the babies, and it mainly falls to the gents to be the tough guys. On top of this, when a woman has a child she may fall short in some other responsibilities such as carrying all the firewood and water and other physically demanding tasks (as occur in most societies where women do the vast majority of hard labor). For their part, this aggressiveness of males comes in handy for defending the group territory, but becomes a nuisance when male aggression turns to beating, raping, murdering, and threatening others, mainly women. </p> <p>So how do we deal with this? Start out by admitting that we as a society owe women a great deal for being the baby bearers. It is hard, painful, and you can die doing it. But no. In our society, we take away a woman's rights because she is the baby bearer. She is paid less, and often her value is diminished. </p> <blockquote><p>..hiring a woman in a job involves the risk that she will be unable to work if she gets pregnant. The "worth" of that employee is thus modified as a result....</p></blockquote> <p>We also deal with this by admitting that aggressive male approaches are not necessarily a good thing. Yes, it may be true that "... men ... earn money ... for status, and not for consumption." But that would be because men are being assholes. If it is true that "...being more aggressive, more ambitious, more authoritative, more psychopathic, less caring of others are 'qualities' that are sought in CEOs.." then we have to stop doing that. We have to stop seeking and rewarding those qualities. </p> <p>Compensation works both ways. We must compensate, as a society, for the burden of our evolutionary past as manifest differentially by gender. Our behavior is flexible, and thus it is incumbent on our society to attenuate violent leanings. Childbearing is fundamental and essential but cannot be totally outsourced by the women who do it. Punishing women for having this responsibility is exactly the opposite of what we should do. </p> <p>A review of our evolutionary context is interesting to me (it is what my professional research life is entirely about) and this context is causative. But a realistic look at our evolutionary biology does not give any simple answers, and never, ever does it provide justification for unfairness or violence. </p> <p>There is a reason they call it the Naturalistic <em>Fallacy</em>. </p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Mon, 11/26/2012 - 08:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/behavioral-biology" hreflang="en">behavioral biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/naturalistic-fallacy-0" hreflang="en">Naturalistic Fallacy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/human-behavior" hreflang="en">human behavior</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/mammals" hreflang="en">mammals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/sex-differences" hreflang="en">Sex Differences</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/behavioral-biology" hreflang="en">behavioral biology</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/life-sciences" hreflang="en">Life Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1449030" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1353944559"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On the paradigm of money as status, I think of this as an attempt at honest signaling of the ability to provide for a mate and offspring. I'm not saying it's right or justified, but that's the background that I think it most likely arises from.</p> <p>Also do you recall the study reported about 18 months ago on arousal and aggression in mice? It involved optogenetic controls which were fascinating in their own right. It seems like these behavioral paths are physically adjacent in some brains, and I speculate that it is because there are reproductive benefits to linking arousal and aggression. </p> <p>I think about this a lot in terms of "rape culture". I don't think culture is the root cause of rape, even if it offers possible solutions. It seems like any attempt to study a biological underpinning is taken as an attempt to excuse the behavior, and it is a dangerous line of study.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1449030&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="u9wbSR_sjuirCn-Lcq8bdEdD2OeQI7RebZZkabxKo_0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike Lewinski (not verified)</span> on 26 Nov 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1449030">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2012/11/26/understanding-sex-differences-in-humans-what-do-we-learn-from-nature%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:28:34 +0000 gregladen 32296 at https://scienceblogs.com What is Dunbar's Number? https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/06/10/what-is-dunbars-number <span>What is Dunbar&#039;s Number?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The term "Dunbar's Number" refers to a particular hypothesis by primatologist Robin Dunbar. It is a very simple idea with rather complex implications, and it is one of those simple ideas that gets more complicated than ideal as we look into it more and more. Eventually, the idea is required by many who contemplate it to do more work than was ever intended, and in this way seems to fail, though it really doesn't. I personally think Dunbar's number is useful if it is properly understood, so I want you to give it a chance, and to help you do that I'd like to use an analogy. </p> <p>I'm thinking of a number called Carrier's Number. Carrier, in this case, refers to the company that installs air conditioners and heaters. Carrier's number is the temperature in degrees F at which you, sitting there in your chair, notice it is too warm so you get up and go turn on the air conditioner. It is best measured as a post hoc number...we watch and wait, flies on the wall, as the room heats up, and when a person gets up and flips on the air conditioner, the temperature at that point was carrier's number for that person at that time. </p> <p>One might argue that a post hoc measure like this isn't much use in science because in science we like to predict things. But just because carrier's number is best measured pot hoc does not mean that it only exists post hoc. It existed before the test subject got up, we just didn't know what it was. For a large number of test subjects, we should be able to estimate carrier's number (it is probably in the upper 70's F). However, this will vary across cultures, across seasons, humidity, as clothing styles change (in the days of Polyester Leisure Suits, it is said that Carrier's Number went down by about four degrees) and so on. The fact that it varies does not make it a bad number. In fact, its variation and reasons for it can make it an extra good number depending on what one is trying to do with it.</p> <p>Dunbar's number is the number of full blown social interactions you can manage. This number is lower or higher across species of social primates, as it tracks adaptive suites of sociality and the ability of brains to manage sociality. So, you can measure Dunbar's number across primate groups by looking at how large effective primate groups get across species and figuring that the number is just about that maximum group size. Or, you could estimate Dunbar's number (retrodict it, as it were) by looking at relative brain size, if we assume that brain size is linked to Dunbar's number, all else being equal. In this way, Dunbar's number is a way of linking primate sociality with brain evolution, which was the original idea. </p> <p>In modern society, and in human historical contexts, we may see Dunbar's number in a lot of places. This is the number at which, more or less, groups start to break down (in some societies) and villages split. Military units max out at about Dunbar's number (companies are about 100 in size) and so on. This does not mean that Dunbar's number and its associated dynamics explain everything. It might mean that the breakdown of social interactions can be more important than, say, resource limitations, on human group fission and fusion. That is exactly what many anthropologists have been suggesting for decades. Dunbar's Number is simply this concept quantified somewhat and expanded to primates. </p> <p>There are variations and adjustments. Some organisms have apparent smaller brain size because their diets cause a different body size, so that has to be adjusted for (leaf-eating monkeys may small relative brain size because their bodies are large, not because their brain is small, for example). What a fully blown social interaction is may vary. A group of primates may have a subgroup that hardly ever interacts with the others. Perhaps pre-adolescent monkeys don't count for as much as sexually mature monkeys, so if there happens to be a baby boom a couple of years back, the group size if you count everyone is higher than Dunbar's number. Or perhaps the group includes two or three social geniuses who temporarily facilitate an extra large group size, or temporarily force an extra small group size, for some reason. </p> <p>It makes sense that there is a limit on effective sociality, and thus, on effective social group size. Dunbar's number is nothing other than the number you end up with because when you are making the damn graph you need a damn number to put there on one of the axes. It has been over-interpreted or over-used as a number like many of those from Physics, like the freezing point or boiling point of water, which it is not.</p> <p>Desiree Schell and I spoke about Dunbar's Number on the Skeptically Speaking that just became ready for you to download. <a href="http://skepticallyspeaking.ca/episodes/167-liars-and-outliers">Check it out here.</a> </p> <p><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/04/25/a-very-good-documentary-about/">This video</a> includes, during the last third somewhere, a discussion by Dunbar of all this. </p> <p>And, here's a few items by Dunbar you might find interesting:</p> <ul><li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674057163/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wwwgregladenc-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0674057163">How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar's Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwgregladenc-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=0674057163" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674363361/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wwwgregladenc-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0674363361">Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwgregladenc-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=0674363361" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /></li> </ul></div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Sun, 06/10/2012 - 06:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/human-evolution" hreflang="en">Human Evolution</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/brain-size" hreflang="en">brain size</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/dunbars-number" hreflang="en">Dunbar&#039;s Number</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/robin-dunbar" hreflang="en">Robin Dunbar</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/social-sciences" hreflang="en">Social Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446185" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339327489"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dunbar's number is usually given in the range 100-300, which seems both too large and too small. Too small because one can recognize 10,000-100,000 different people, but one can only have a "full-blown" social interaction with a few people, maybe 10, if you're lucky.</p> <p>If you work at an organization of, say, 200 people, you might have a complex relationship with a handful, but I don't believe that 150 is credible.</p> <p> --bks</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446185&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="wuCTgNBIfZ6oRjxfUJf2oy_8YXBQu_5lTjjovZOeOPI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">bks (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446185">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1446186" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339328806"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>BKS, those are rather spectacular claims you've made! I can recognize 30,000 people but I can only manage relationships with a "handful" (one handful = 6-8, right?)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446186&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="V6CejJMvYrgG9F7zsGpC4cEpcm32FvgjxGjJxPZqQWU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 10 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446186">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446187" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339336642"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Actually, if you examine closely the primate data which he used to derive the number, you will find that he became more and more selective about which primates to include (New World Monkeys got dropped for example--remember capuchins are the most encephalised primates after humans). So the original base-line for the calculation of the number is, shall we say, groomed.<br /> Then the use of it is rather inconsistent. Other primates have groups which can be counted by the primatologist in the field by the amount of time they spend together and particularly the number of other animals they spend grooming. I suspect that for most people the number of 150 derived from the equations Dunbar created from the primate data is way too large. We do not regularly interact with that number of people. BUT, and it is a big but, we do maintain knowledge of that size of a group of people often by representing their role in our lives as a symbolic fact. This is something we can do because we use language. And that is why Dunbar's argument started off. He was using it in an argument about the emergence of language, but I suspect the logic of that argument is the wrong way around too. But, hey, it is really interesting and I wish I had thought of it.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446187&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jEWipu-7fwfhQZKiOUDJaUpgzxWPQLa4gmciuMQfwdQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Iain Davidson (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446187">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446188" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339356442"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I graduated from a high school with about 110 students. There were 23 in my class and I knew them all. I knew most of the people in the next lower class, but only a few people out of the two lower classes. So I probably knew about half the students in my small high school.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446188&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_-cX05c4Yngxz7S7ID0UiuJyOo0oIQlE9QMv8TqnRJM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jim Thomerson (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446188">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446189" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339372647"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I don't think the claims are spectacular. I don't believe most people have complex relationships with more than three or four people at a time (in the same month, say), But I'm pretty sure that the number of faces that we can recognize (correctly remember having seen before) is around 100,000. I remember this from a Psych class where it was remarked that this is, not coincidentally, about the size of a Greek City State. This is not my field of expertise by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't believe 95% of the population has a "full-blown" relationship with 100 people. No way, no how.</p> <p>That's my story and I'm sticking to it.</p> <p> --bks</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446189&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="0Tm3ApdFpZrOrEJjTBYoAyQ8Ngv2XEtS8kTrKs4bB_w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">bks (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446189">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446190" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339372824"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Metacomment: The timestamps in this Blog don't have time zone information. Not uncommon, but a disappointment.</p> <p> --bks</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446190&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="eo639tJe55f4Xv7jQxZZhA9byKLnAF1eRWSkDZXI1Zc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">bks (not verified)</span> on 10 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446190">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446191" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339396833"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>As a mathematician with a pathologically poor memory for names and faces, I'd be more interested in establishing a least upper bound for this number for any given species.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446191&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="kDpSATCXLdVrT_J2rBDWOejLSwLf99G7j7px2c0sK0Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ian Kemmish (not verified)</span> on 11 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446191">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1446192" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339398579"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>bks, I the spectacular claim is that we recognize 30,000 people. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "recognize." </p> <p>Dunbar is not talking about the sort of relationship you are referring to, I think. </p> <p>Iain, one of the problems with Dunbar's first paper in 92 (IIRC), or perhaps the conference papers that got circulated before that, was that everyone complained about the groups of primates he included. I think there's a good argument for treating NWP and OWP separately, given that they have a very deep evolutionary split. With respect to social evolution, most (with adjustments) OWM's and apes are polygynous and have fission fusion group structures, etc. while most NWM's are monogamous or polynadrous and/or have much tighter group structure. I would argue that a "number" that worked for both groups is spurious. </p> <p><em> we do maintain knowledge of that size of a group of people often by representing their role in our lives as a symbolic fact. This is something we can do because we use language. And that is why Dunbar’s argument started off. He was using it in an argument about the emergence of language, but I suspect the logic of that argument is the wrong way around too. But, hey, it is really interesting and I wish I had thought of it.</em></p> <p>Right, exactly.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446192&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="L5agCv9eSk8nFIASnayB7wBg_dKv9hg_rbbeD3jkbXc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 11 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446192">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1446193" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339398465"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Actually, Iain, if you think Dunbar's number is too big, you can propose Davidson's Number of 149. Then take bets on it, you'll probably win!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446193&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="eQMD81b57sGVbw7tA4xfqOyIB2zMP4IlLy2NZMhbEo8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 11 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446193">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446194" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339421877"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It is worth adding in here that Dunbar does acknowledge different sizes of "circles of intimacy"--5, 15, 35, 150, 1500 (Dunbar, Barrett and Lycett Evolutionary psychology p.97) and famously showed that conversational groups split in to smaller groups whenever there are six people together. He has also been very inventive in trying to show the 150 group size by looking at christmas card lists and things like that. I am not sure whether FB friend numbers mean anything, though--look how many friends Greg has!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446194&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4FraKUhVY1fKqlJ-VmCW8lNwPD0UX1ncdlySmi92TK4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Iain Davidson (not verified)</span> on 11 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446194">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1446195" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339423238"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Facebook allows one to make smaller lists, as does twitter, etc. I assume Robin has students sampling social networking sites to see if these working lists are about 150 in size!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446195&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="pkKBNw530Jf9vW2Rx4fcH0uwrEVEnIa6RCZ_DA0J5YQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 11 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446195">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446196" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339504718"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The details may not be as "precise" as people like to claim but the IDEA of this is interesting. Dunbar has pointed out how the various "circles of intimacy" crop up in all sorts of human organisations. It makes a kind of sense for any creature that lives in a restricted social group to have relationships defined by a series of concentric circles, with it's closest relatives at the centre.</p> <p>What is really interesting is how, throughout history, broadly similar numbers turn up, time and time again, in the organisations of military units. Even today infantry are organised into fire team / squad / platoon / company / battalion, roughly corresponding to the five lowest "circles of intimacy". Coincidence? Or primate psychology?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446196&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="0hhkJ5zEl76tRa5m-OJl1UJYHSF12UkSCAF7K9Q9DyI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Engineering Animals (not verified)</span> on 12 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446196">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446197" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339509117"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>These authors claim to have verified it using Twitter data:</p> <p>"In this paper we analyze a dataset of Twitter conversations collected across six months involving 1.7 million individuals and test the theoretical cognitive limit on the number of stable social relationships known as Dunbar's number. We find that the data are in agreement with Dunbar's result; users can entertain a maximum of 100–200 stable relationships."</p> <p><a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0022656">http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0022…</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446197&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="P1RUUrfPIc9OlOl9Y8znd1YRUp-lbOvtvzJkjQm33_U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Oni Musha (not verified)</span> on 12 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446197">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446198" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339515311"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>An interesting social media app could be constructed exploring the Dunbar's number idea. Something integrating facebook and foursquare-like "check-in" apps, wall-to-wall postings, "likes", etc. Obviously this would have to be incredibly opt-in or voluntary, as most of those idea go a little beyond Orwellian. Can't have big brother mother* watching too closely. </p> <p>*sorry; I saw Roger Waters' 2012 production of The Wall last night and am feeling a bit anti-establishment.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446198&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="U3QNRjECbZvlT-8k740c8uawM9CyNrFMjnILlsvJMI4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eNOS (not verified)</span> on 12 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446198">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446199" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1339599407"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>What is a "full-blown social interaction"? Has it been defined in a way that is generally accepted? I imagine it's highly subject to all sorts of hedges, hems, and haws. What is a meaningful social interaction for an extreme introvert? Is it the same as for an extreme extrovert? At what point does a social interaction become meaningful or full blown? I sense an greased pig.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446199&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="QzV2XL0yswCXNIMHrJ4eznUGXbC_6wQ2BPlZ9cqhCI0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve (not verified)</span> on 13 Jun 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446199">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1446200" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1343156518"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thanks! Very helpful description!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1446200&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ULVXVl5yD6H3MTW-kEkvPDnpxdWel7WiPRy4ZrFkeB4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jane Campbell (not verified)</span> on 24 Jul 2012 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1446200">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2012/06/10/what-is-dunbars-number%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Sun, 10 Jun 2012 10:49:02 +0000 gregladen 31798 at https://scienceblogs.com Wild angry baboons on the high cliff https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/05/31/wild-angry-baboons-on-the-high <span>Wild angry baboons on the high cliff</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>We three had somehow wound our way down into the canyon without experiencing any really steep slopes, but having walked for several miles in the sandy dry riverbed, Trusted Companion, Young One, and I were now looking rather hopelessly at unsafe-to-climb cliffs on both sides, covered with imposing vegetation of the kind that sports a thorn every few inches. The sun was low enough that the canyon floor was in a dark shadow, and the air was beginning to chill down. We were far enough from the vehicle, lost enough, and sufficiently plan-free that it would be perfectly reasonable to worry that we might not make it across the remote African Savanna before the leopards and hyenas came out to hunt. It was even possible that we'd have to spend the night huddled in some spot we could convince ourselves was protected from the elements and the wild animals. All this dark and scary truth had dawned on me over the last hour as we continued heading up a seemingly endless side canyon in search of a place to climb out of this river valley known among international extreme outdoors people as one of the most treacherous in the world, and known among the more traditional local folk for its dragon-like 50-meter long human-eating snake that was supposedly mythical.</p> <!--more--><p>That's about when the questions started from the Young One.</p> <p>"Are we lost?"</p> <p>"No. I know exactly where we are."</p> <p>(<em>In the bottom of some freakin' uncharted canyon</em>.)</p> <p>The Young One was always worried about our survival, never really trusting my vast experience and well honed instincts.</p> <p>"Were lost."</p> <p>"Are not."</p> <p>Then suddenly, "POP!"</p> <p>The local bushmen say that baboons are people, and that when we hear them they sound like they are merely speaking in an unknown dialect of their language. This is a story, of course, and they understand fully that the baboons are not people. And they don't sound anything like us. The story goes on to say that the baboons became persona (as it were) non gratis when they broke a rule in sharing meat: They reciprocated in a meat exchange by giving some unsuspecting bushmen bits of human flesh to eat. Baboons have never quite been trusted since, so the story goes. And as night came closer during our trek up the steep-sided valley, we could hear the baboons beginning to speak from high above us on the cliff that impeded our return to base camp.</p> <p>The first few sounds were loud pops that could have been rocks thrown against rocks. My traveling companions thought, in fact, that this is what they were, and became concerned over the possibility of rocks falling down the sides. I reassured them.</p> <p>"No, those are just the baboons."</p> <p>"POP!"</p> <p>"I've been hearing them for a while now. They appear to be following us."</p> <p>"Following us? They sound like they are throwing rocks at us!"</p> <p>"Not throwing rocks. That's just a contact call, letting each other know where they are! But yeah, they are following us. They know we are down here, and they're tracking our movements by following along at the top of the cliff. It's getting to the point in time where they will settle into their overnight spots, and they're probably worried that we're after them." </p> <p>"Oh. So the troop of wild baboons is not following us. They're just angerly covering our escape routes." </p> <p>"Right. Should be no problem."</p> <p>Eventually we came to the point where we would go up the side of the cliff and head across the grassy plain in search of our vehicle, left behind hours ago. This was not the point where climbing had become more possible. Rather, this was the point beyond which if we climbed out of the canyon we would be backtracking to the vehicle. In other words, if we went ahead any father, we'd be adding to rather than reducing our estimated time of return to the truck. It was either climb up now and reach the truck just as night fell, or climb up later where it might be easier and spend time crossing the savanna in the dark. The fact that we were on the shaded (north) side of the canyon was also a consideration: As the sun went down, darkness would fall here first and fast. We'd be climbing in the dark. </p> <p>Or, I could be wrong. I thought at the time that if the truck really was exactly where I thought it was, and we climbed straight out of the canyon and headed exactly north, then we'd bump into it even with our eyes closed, in about seven kilometers. And I would be very impressed, with myself. Or, it could be somewhere else entirely and we could be totally lost. Perhaps the baboons could be blamed in that eventuality. </p> <p>"Are we lost?" the young one asked again.</p> <p>"Why would you say that? Here. We climb out right here."</p> <p>"We're totally lost, I know it."</p> <p>So as Trusted Companion looked on eagerly trusting that I was doing the right thing, and half smirking at the untrusting Young One, I carefully picked a route that would bring us to a flattish spot in about 12 meters of scrambling mostly across grass and eroded surface, with few thorny bushes. From there I'd pick out the next leg of our ascent. It was difficult and we were all out of breath when we got there. I spotted another target and headed that way. </p> <p>"Follow me."</p> <p>"I need to rest."</p> <p>"OK, we'll go ahead and you can watch how we go and follow behind when you've caught your breath."</p> <p>And so it continued, with the Young One, who was most out of shape, out of breath and falling father and farther behind. And the pops of the baboons continued, and as we went up in elevation we could hear their other chattering as well. </p> <p>And then we could see them. You had to crane your neck to see the horizon, the edge of the cliff above us. And there you'd see contact between the brown grass and brush and the darkening blue, cloudless sky. And there would be a dark gray lump there, like a fire plug covered with a blanket, or a lawn gnome hiding under a beach towel, and then suddenly the rounded lump would drop out of sight and there would be another POP and some chatter. The bigger baboons stayed visible for longer, the tiny ones, the juveniles, popped in and out of sight quickly and randomly. And as we climbed still higher we could see their faces, and their monkey-face movements and their monkey-face stares. There is a difference between a monkey looking back at you from a cage in a zoo and a monkey looking back at you from a tree in the wild. And, there is a bigger difference still between either of those scenarios and a monkey looking down at you from 15 meters above when its Baboon Bubba and his 25 friends and relatives and you and Trusted Companion trailed some distance back by the Young One, who is still asking ...</p> <p>"We're lost, aren't we. I need to rest."</p> <p>"POP! ... babble babble ..."</p> <p>One could easily imagine the drama as the humans emerge onto the plains. Finally ... almost ... reaching the edge of the canyon, where there is an abrupt transition from dangerously steep thornbush covered slope to very flat or slightly undulating grass covered plain, just stepping out of the canyon and onto the flats ... and suddenly the troop of wild baboons .... wild <em>angry</em> baboons ... swoops in from all sides, jumping on the humans and pushing them back down the cliff, Most Trusted Companion letting out a war cry as she pulls a giant baboon off my back as she herself is taken down by three females biting at her ears and ankles, and Young One and a medium size male monkey spinning like a giant eight-limbed Frisbee falling, screaming, all the way back down to the sandy bottom of the canyon's now fully benighted floor, terror shining from their four collective eyes, the troop's big male tearing through the tall grass directly at me with two or three of his cohort right behind him, moving in for the kill. Kill the humans!!!!</p> <p>But that kind of thing never happens. By the time we were within 10 meters or so of the top of the canyon, the baboons had fallen silent and moved entirely out of our sight. They had no interest in being anywhere near us when we gained the plain. Instead of a primordial battle to the death between primate species, there was nothing, and we stepped, breathless, tired, thirsty, and hungry, out of the canyon. I took a compass reading and pointed to a tree in the far distance. </p> <p>"That tree. We need to cross just to the right of it and we'll see the car from there."</p> <p>And we did. My reckoning was dead on. We had gained valuable data that day. We had learned about ourselves and each other under conditions of adversity. And the baboons .... well, they had one hell of a story to tell, and I'm sure they are still telling it to each other and to their little monkey children to this day. </p> <p>"POP!"</p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:14</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/baboons" hreflang="en">Baboons</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/south-africa-0" hreflang="en">south africa</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435792" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306852453"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You know, sometimes I'm amazed you're still alive.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435792&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="HTKkSOLMYCXyVK-ImCjWYkU42G27Yyui8Wvc4WGYfUs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">cairne.morane (not verified)</span> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435792">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435793" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306857358"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>...the troop's big male tearing through the tall grass directly at me with two or three of his cohort right behind him, moving in for the kill. Kill the humans!!!!</i></p> <p>Great visual image. :)</p> <p>This story brought up a memory from my childhood of a late-night movie.<br /> All I remember from the movie is the final scene where the hero finally confronts the baboons that have been stalking him. They surround him and he's convinced that he won't get out of it alive but he is determined to crack a few skulls before they bring him down. Lots of snarling and growling from the man as he sheds his civilized exterior to tap into his inner cave man.<br /> (Roll credits)<br /> I know it's not much to go on and it's very much a long shot but any movie buff out there happen to know which movie it might have been?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435793&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Zh2s8GAZ8L1zKGKSe1dmrjBQDldz8WdH_6qAd0f8-oY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.randi.org" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cedric Katesby (not verified)</a> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435793">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1435794" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306857704"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Ah ... the movie was Flight of the Phoenix, and it is the movie from which the image in the blog post is taken ... and which was on my mind during the climb up the canyon wall ... and which was set only a few miles from the story I tell here!</p> <p>There is another movie that I think uses the same scene (almost) also set nearby, which may or may not be called Skeleton Coast. I haven't seen that one in long enough that I went to watch it the other day but it was too hard to watch. (Horrendous acting)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435794&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="7ZyzY8zZXeftZ4fwL-ztB9AlXnxXeX3_ktT7RUU0SOY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435794">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1435795" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306857887"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This has to be verified ... the last time I saw that movie was when it came out. .. either way, I know the scene! Maybe it was Sands of the Kalahari ... which would have also been set a few miles from the scene of the blog post but in a different direction....</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435795&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="XdRv9vH4b0A7L6rW8XOwWjpSZn8rsI4bvsG2dxxNiYU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435795">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1435796" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306858103"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Yeah, I'm thinking sands of the kalahari now. Which, based on the photos from the film on the internet movie database, would have been filmed almost within sight of the canyon. I've got to get a copy of that movie.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435796&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="-q0l0EVWlVQNI_PziFr-8GAi4S_TUI4hyYPxOIRRGNw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435796">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1435797" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306858282"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YCKJQU/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wwwgregladenc-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=217145&amp;creative=399349&amp;creativeASIN=B004YCKJQU">GOT IT!!!</a></p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435797&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="0MRc8gazqLLwdXbKjumnZ7AUozmFH_vfrCNi-Y4l1uI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435797">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435798" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306858289"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Kill the humans!!!!</p> <p>Considering there are about 7 billion of us that would hardly put a dent in the overall score of humans vs all other primates, now would it? </p> <p>As for danger, try driving in rush hour traffic on I 95 near Miami. You'd wish you were back in the canyon with a troop of wild and angry baboons, heck at least they're not driving tractor trailers at 80 mph 10 ft from your tail lights.</p> <p>Just kidding sir, I'm jealous of your experience, big time. Though having lived in Brazil and having spent some time in the Amazon, I have seen some real 30 live 30 ft. snakes, just don't let them sneak up on you at dusk &gt;;^)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435798&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="VQ0Aa4nPDStC7kknFVIU5X_xMJKTJs1uDXEzcQM72zs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Fred Magyar (not verified)</span> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435798">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435799" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306869176"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>There was a report a few years back (several Sciblings hit it, IIRC), about a larger-than-usual subspecies of South African baboon moving into suburban areas and exploiting human food resources.</p> <p>I keep waiting for a talented, enterprising South African filmmaker (there are surprisingly many) to do a remake of Daphne du Maurier's <i>The Birds,</i> but with baboons. Scariest movie ever, even if I only imagine it.</p> <p>(Chimps are arguably much more dangerous, but baboons are scarier.)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435799&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="1NO4RJYahc8k81f21vyvkIPp1hOgg8T4IRO1vR31GQg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">howard.peirce (not verified)</span> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435799">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435800" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306870194"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>You REALLY ought to write a book. I would buy it in a heartbeat (especially if it were an ebook!.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435800&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="WFzo8D6FUorBxlTFPPebD2GB1UenEDSzTSzvoK4UCzU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gwen (not verified)</span> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435800">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435801" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306873969"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Hey, it could have been angry wild birds :)</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435801&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4F74XNXDTwZtZ5ZY-ndpvzOmBAHsy2xQttbnl6TI8tI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">TsuDhoNimh (not verified)</span> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435801">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435802" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306877890"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sands of the Kalahari?<br /> Hmm.<br /> Time for me to do some downloading-no matter how atrocious it will probably turn out to be.<br /> Thanks.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435802&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="NZSm9bQ0xAqD_bwgYpMzwiYpAXwCF7jU031nWfCTFcE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.randi.org" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Cedric Katesby (not verified)</a> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435802">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435803" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306878187"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Great story! I was, however, hoping that the baboons would at least apologize for that meat sharing incident.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435803&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="7MZhyfyLXiNgyLpqSvX9_Z6ENWwBuAccg4_YUm8u_bE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Charles Sullivan (not verified)</span> on 31 May 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435803">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1435804" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1306908510"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><blockquote><p>well, they had one hell of a story to tell, and I'm sure they are still telling it to each other and to their little monkey children to this day</p></blockquote> <p>The story of the three strange hairless apes who blundered along the canyon and nearly <i>stepped</i> on the dragon-like 50-meter long human-eating snake without even seeing it.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1435804&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="KhFZ7kkC_-1JkghD6kP3uXOO8x2lhVrqN1n_O0LmLdc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Phillip IV (not verified)</span> on 01 Jun 2011 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/4546/feed#comment-1435804">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2011/05/31/wild-angry-baboons-on-the-high%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 31 May 2011 14:14:23 +0000 gregladen 30713 at https://scienceblogs.com On the Move https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/05/20/on-the-move <span>On the Move</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0226063402/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wwwgregladenc-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=217145&amp;creative=399349&amp;creativeASIN=0226063402">On the Move: How and Why Animals Travel in Groups</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwgregladenc-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=0226063402&amp;camp=217145&amp;creative=399349" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />, edited by Sue Boinski and Paul Garber is a compendium of academic research on ... well, on how and why animals travel in groups. Notice of this book is a fitting start to a series of reviews of migration-related books that is part of Migration Week on GLB. (For an overview of the Bigness and Vastness of bird migration in particular, see <a href="http://10000birds.com/migration-question.htm">A Question of Migration</a>.) </p> <!--more--><p>Group movement is only rarely migration, though the two phenomena are overlapping subsets. An example of group movement that demands some explanation is that found in chimpanzees. One might ask why chimps are ever in groups, given that one of the most important things a chimp can do in a day is to feed, and for many reasons they do better at feeding when alone. But chimps are a social species, and as such, often coordinate their movements and their overall togetherness. Do they use vocalizations? Hand signals? Other body-related signals (as cows are supposed to do)? Or do they just all happen to get up and go to the same place at the same time? Well, it's complicated, and chimpanzee and more generally primate movement and group cohesion is explored in detail in chapters by all the usual (suspect or not) primate and mammal researchers. </p> <p>To give you an idea of the scope and intensity of this coverage, I've lifted the table of contents:</p> <p>Part One - Ecological Costs and Benefits<br /> 1. The Physiology and Energetics of Movement: Effects on Individuals and Groups by Karen Steudel<br /> 2. Determinants of Group Size in Primates: The Importance of Travel Costs by Colin A. Chapman and Lauren J. Chapman<br /> 3. A Critical Evaluation of the Influence of Predators on Primates: Effects on Group Travel by Sue Boinski, Adrian Treves, and Colin A. Chapman<br /> 4. Mixed-Up Species Association and Group Movement by Marina Cords<br /> 5. Territorial Defense and the Ecology of Group Movements in Small-Bodied Neotropical Primates by Carlos A. Peres<br /> Part Two - Cognitive Abilities, Possibilities, and Constraints<br /> 6. Group Movement and Individual Cognition: Lessons from Social Insects by Fred C. Dyer<br /> 7. Spatial Movement Strategies: Theory, Evidence, and Challenges by Charles Janson<br /> 8. Primate Brain Evolution: Cognitive Demands of Foraging or of Social Life? by Robert A. Barton<br /> 9. Animal Movement as a Group-Level Adaptation by David Sloan Wilson<br /> Part Three - Travel Decisions<br /> 10. Evidence for the Use of Spatial, Temporal, and Social Information by Primate Foragers by Paul A. Garber<br /> 11. Homing and Detour Behavior in Golden Lion Tamarin Social Groups by Charles R. Menzel and Benjamin B. Beck<br /> 12. Comparative Movement Patterns of Two Semiterrestrial Cercopithecine Primates: The Tana River Crested Mangabey and the Sulawesi Crested Black Macaque by Margaret F. Kinnaird and Timothy G. O'Brien<br /> 13. Mountain Gorilla Habitat Use Strategies and Group Movements by David P. Watts<br /> 14. Quo Vadis? Tactics of Food Search and Group Movement in Primates and Other Animals by Katharine Milton<br /> Part Four - Social Processes<br /> 15. Social Manipulation Within and Between Troops Mediates Primate Group Movement by Sue Boinski<br /> 16. Grouping and Movement Patterns in Malagasy Primates by Peter M. Kappeler<br /> 17. How Monkeys Find Their Way: Leadership, Coordination, and Cognitive Maps of African Baboons by Richard W. Byrne<br /> Part Five - Group Movement from a Wider Taxonomic Perspective<br /> 18. Birds of Many Feathers: The Formation and Structure of Mixed-Species Flocks of Forest Birds by Russell Greenberg<br /> 19. Keeping in Touch at Sea: Group Movement in Dolphins and Whales by Rachel Smolker<br /> 20. Group Travel in Social Carnivores by Kay E. Holekamp, Erin E. Boydston, and Laura Smale<br /> 21. Ecological Correlates of Home Range Variation in Primates: Implications for Hominid Evolution by William R. Leonard and Marcia L. Robertson<br /> 22. Patterns and Processes of Group Movement in Human Nomadic Populations: A Case Study of the Turkana of Northwestern Kenya by J. Terrence McCabe<br /> Concluding Remarks<br /> New Directions for Group Movement by Sue Boinski and Paul A. Garber </p> <p>The book is ten years old, but still forms the basis for the relevant literature. Two more or less startling conclusions emerge from the papers in this volume: 1) In primates, there is no apparent association between the mechanisms or abilities of various primate species to coordinate movement or to find food or other resources as a group and the species' taxonomy. In other words, primate behavior at this level is not determined by phylogeny, and thus, not determined by genes. Or, to be more precise, variation in primate capacities to carry out this complex set of behaviors is not explained by innate programming. This is important when thinking, for instance, of human culture and human variation in behavior, intelligence, or other brain-related features. While modern pseudo-evolutionary pop psychologists are busy telling us that they can predict differences in capacities of humans by ethnicity, national origin, skin color, etc. we find no such predictive power in a major complex behavior across primate species as different as ape vs. monkey or old world primate vs. new world primate. This underscores the degree to which it is essentially a primate thing to not be overly programmed in behavior by some genetic code. </p> <p>The second finding I'd like to mention is that in many (most?) of the species studied, sociability determines the nature of group movement more than does ecological demand or foraging efficiency. In human forager studies over the last few decades, it was discovered much to the chagrin of many anthropologists that foraging behavior was more often determined by non-optimization effects. Human foragers don't maximize caloric or protein intake, or optimize hunting or gathering behavior, as much as most researchers thought they would. Well, it turns out that that's a primate-wide trait. We shouldn't have expected it. Food is paramount, and much of the overarching behavior of primates does relate to it, but the day to day, or hour to hour optimization that optimal foraging theory predicted simply does not signify. </p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Fri, 05/20/2011 - 03:50</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/anthropology" hreflang="en">Anthropology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/books" hreflang="en">Books</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/migration" hreflang="en">migration</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/primates" hreflang="en">primates</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/life-sciences" hreflang="en">Life Sciences</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2011/05/20/on-the-move%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Fri, 20 May 2011 07:50:10 +0000 gregladen 30665 at https://scienceblogs.com