What's new in the study of Primates?

    NEWS -- read it! (newer items at the top; use find to search list)


  1. ground-sleeping chimps?
  2. who is surprised that diet and early weaning relates to human population growth?
  3. What causes chimp aggression? Bonobos?
  4. orang nests as good as birds?
  5. gorilla tool use image
  6. math genius or idiot savant?
  7. new images of primate brain circuits
  8. where are my penile spines?
  9. guidelines for chimps in research
  10. gorilla genome decoded-- a lot like chimps and humans. No kidding..
  11. genetic differences among chimps is considerable --less so for humans
  12. coming attraction-- in red. (also proposed to drive evolution of red cones)
  13. theory of mind in chimps? Or not so much?
  14. tarsier communication-- a good lesson
  15. primate puberty, diet and implications : no surprises here
  16. human vs chimp brains-"prefrontal cortex Synaptogenesis"
  17. more on possible interbreeding among our ancestral cousins-- not so surprising.
  18. more on bonobos and testosterone levels and mating. And more...
  19. orangs hunting slow lorises?
  20. transition from claw to primate nail-47mya?
  21. walking fish?
  22. several items including chimps' sensitivity to their audience's knowledge
  23. more on diet- elephants as homo erectus prey?
  24. diet, brain size and cogntion--in older people (complements same in juveniles. See~235 below and diet topic notes)
  25. did the unique social lives of primates evolve in concert with diurnal living and predator dangers?
  26. young gorillas and silverback out for a stroll in in Bwindi Natl Park, Uganda?
  27. what happened to our fur coat? Before or after bipedalism (<4 mya)? More.
  28. Primates that work together .... are human.
  29. Pointing ravens!
  30. Maybe we can't be too smart?
  31. It takes brains to throw feces? Or just to hit the target?
  32. what's the optokinetic effect? See notes on the Kellogg video.
  33. More on FOXP2 function in man and mouse , and update.
  34. chimps play too!!!
  35. more on the genetic differences between chimps and humans (older on FOXP2) and this.
  36. more on the grandmother hypothesis--can it matter which--paternal or materal-- cares for the children?
  37. elaboration on human family "tree"
  38. Leaving claws behind...nails evolve.
  39. Way better than average review of new "Planet of the Apes."
  40. Reassessment of Lucy's bipedalism
  41. Project Nim documentary again--another misguided ape language "project."
  42. chimps "understand" liquid quantities? "Folk" understanding perhaps--especially very young fold --but not yet conservation of liquid.
  43. when were the first humans?
  44. not really new but highlights individual differences-- the Ruthian variation driving natural selection
  45. human mutation rates and the "male mutation bias"
  46. Chimps reported to have insight (Kohler is shocked!)
  47. Bipedal? The better to punch you out! (But some bogus ideas on efficiency.)
  48. Alex the parrot and other birds
  49. Pedogogy in non-humans? Not so much..
  50. Chimps go to Disneyland-- coming soon.
  51. nothing to crow about-- your tax money at work
  52. chimps communicate with 66 gestures! (Kids communicate with 10,000 words and infinite sentences)
  53. More on chimp "awareness"
  54. Neanderthals being right handed is news?
  55. interesting on the origin of the human mind-- but is it anything new?
  56. bonobos talking up good food?
  57. more on attractiveness of faces
  58. chimps as research subjects? (also see ethics notes.)
  59. evolution of human birth , compare with chimp birth and video.
  60. non-human primates and death
  61. chimp and bonobo social brain compared
  62. Models of human evolution based on DNA (fig 1)
  63. Or maybe male chimps are not the thugs Goodall thought?
  64. primate aggression and the bonobo (with video)
  65. Our Bushman ancestors?
  66. Human penises and brains-- due to deleted genes? (link to paper in Nature; ) other info
  67. observational learning in orangutans-- interesting but no surprises. Thorndike tried to assess this in various species but failed.
  68. blonde capuchin tools
  69. killer chimps
  70. neanderthal animation and factsheet
  71. the scent of fertile women?
  72. a healthy gorilla diet-- how hard can this be to figure out?
  73. interview with bonobo watcher
  74. who produces the greatest sperm counts? Why?
  75. photos of rare endangered primates
  76. genetic differences in chimp-human brains enable increased energy production
  77. Same sorry story about declining orang habitats..
  78. New book on the evolution of the human head by Daniel Lieberman, 2011.
  79. do mother chimps "mourn" dead infants? Or is this anthropomorphic empathy at work?
  80. Recent find of human tools at 127K years ago in UAE.
  81. Orangutan genes
  82. Project Nim film (one more sorry tale of the efforts to transform apes into humans by lame psychologists)
  83. another dog with extensive human vocabulary. (use of HBC) ; more dog talk video
  84. interesting quantitative (but not novel ideas) on significance of body size of human and chimp neonates
  85. continuing saga of Neanderthals and other cousins
  86. more on testosterone, dominance, and other correlates
  87. a little bit more on earliest (39 mya) primates
  88. like monkeys, Neandertals maybe not as smart as previously thought? But they are not slow to develop!
  89. tools and female chimps/bonobos
  90. More on monkey business with mirrors; also see 'tamarins" below.
  91. Chimpanzese 401-- squawk like a chimp! See related videos there. Some gorillas too. Would anyone think chimps talked about humanese like this?
  92. Kanzi back in the news-- same old stuff
  93. tamarins not so smart-- how surprising is that?
  94. violence, murder, and war among primates- when did it begin?
  95. all you want to know about primate penis size
  96. More on why it is outrageous to keep chimps as pets or human companions-- more on the case of Lucy
  97. what's the chimp's point? I or you?
  98. chimps estimate liquid quantities-- how surprising!
  99. video bit of curious chimp from NG.
  100. good bye Neanderthals-37K years ago
  101. just another story about neoteny and chimps
  102. more on carnivorous bonobos
  103. Older origins of primates?
  104. chimpCam.. the video chimps
  105. Humans active in their own evolution? How surprising is that? Not so much--see Mark Baldwin.
  106. Hands and feet evolve
  107. Big differences in chimp-human Y chromosomes.
  108. Light my fire (or what's she smoking?)
  109. or is it diet and longevity that distinguishes modern humans....?
  110. "empathy distinguishes modern humans...."
  111. update on language genes, 11/09 , same story here.
  112. more on primate finger length and its significance
  113. chimp empathy?
  114. Lucy's grandmother, Ardi 4.4mya, discovered in Ethiopia?
  115. Animal metacognition? (Compare with E. C. Tolman!)
  116. Were we knuckle walkers? (lots of refs on walking)
  117. Human's closest relative? (according to John Stewart show)
  118. Orangutans like acrobats-- this is news?
  119. Chimps remember trees too!
  120. More on Little Joe-- now employed! But nothing new here; this research was done in the 1930s with chimps- in the famous "chimpomat" studies.
  121. Laughing primates ; swimming orangutans!
  122. mirror neurons mirror monkey attention-- no surprise since its via eye movements
  123. more on primate eye evolution; not such a new principle but good appplication of it (cf. heterochrony)
  124. Gorilla intelligence?
  125. Congolese Wildlife Authority- monitors mountain gorillas (click on video)
  126. Gorillas on Nightline (several links to videos)
  127. More about out of Africa origins of modern humans.
  128. Neanderthal pelvis reconstructed! (compare with existing primates)
  129. Old ovaries; new eggs? And on a related matter, poor prenatal nutrition may bring about genetic changes in the fetus-- evoking--but not really supporting-- ideas of the long discredited Lamarckism. (And a quote from an MD ironically named Weissmann!). The study of epigenetics- non DNA changes in gene effects-- is booming.
  130. Pregnant captive orang video.
  131. Interview with Wrangham on primate diets and their importance in NYT, 4/21/09. See diet notes for more.
  132. Bonobos rate their food! The article's end shows why scientists are skeptical of claims about bonobo "language" --gross exaggeration! Recall the claim that Kanzi has the comprehension of a seven year old child and the strength of seven men! (The actual calls are here.)
  133. Dogs admitted to Harvard-- an upgrade? (video)
  134. Even bonobos hunt monkey meat. Those little devils!!
  135. Chimp trades meat for sex? Not really news but a good photo and data. Another report. Full paper on the topic.
  136. Probably not a big deal but maybe some of the variation in humans was evolved in Africa pre- migration into other regions of the world.
  137. New stone blade tools found at 500,000 years ago! Lots of implications for brain and language speculation. See daily notes.
  138. These chicks know what counts!
  139. Why are chimps so much stronger than us humans? Is there a trade-off with precision? Here' another informative article on the issue of chimp strength..
  140. Human astrocytes differ from rodents'.. (but what about monkeys and apes?)
  141. Primate color vision origins
  142. Animal kingdom's sexiest ape! (ABC Nightline)
  143. If you go down to the woods today......avoid the apes.
  144. Primate genes on and off and on....?
  145. Chimp as terrorist!???
  146. irrelevant but interesting-- a pink dolphin
  147. Baboon promiscuity at the zoo (Keep in mind it is a zoo and baboons vary a lot.)
  148. earliest "homo" footprints, 1.5m years in Kenya
  149. genes leading to ape-homo x diversity?
  150. more on Neanderthal DNA-- minimal mating with humans but share FOXP2, unlike chimps.
  151. Orangutan whistles, recorded. Male orang call, too.
  152. Chimp attacks woman; shot. More on the sorry aftermath here and here (not for squeamish)! (There's a circulating TV program on the "animal' channel called "chimp attacks." and now legislative primates get into the act. )
  153. More on evolution of skin color (but neglects role of dietary sources of vitamin D) See topic notes soon on this.
  154. Clever tool users--(but still overhype?)
  155. No Cy Young awards for Neanderthals! (They don't seem to throw so well.)
  156. Tool use is monkey business too! (Note reasonable comments on trial & error as well.)
  157. What triggers puberty?
  158. Genetic diversity and mate choice-- role of culture
  159. who decides where baboons have dinner? (Also see related stories.)
  160. more on Alex and his cognitive abilities (May have to thru library to access this?)
  161. more on the biology of prosopagnosia (I wonder how this works out in sexual attraction?)
  162. more on human attraction -faces
  163. the human pelvis evolves
  164. evolution of war? Could it be adaptive? Not for gorillas in the way.
  165. Language genes - first FOX2P, now CNTNAP2. And even hearing genes....
  166. human sex, attraction, & red-- any relation to chimp butts or color vision?
  167. bonobos hunting? What beasts!
  168. remarkable flexibility of neural control of movement
  169. more on evolution of human diet-- cooking again
  170. Can you recognize your friends? Chimps can -- not butts about it!
  171. living with baboons?
  172. more on developmental prospagnosia
  173. Tool use & Reasoning without language?-- the New Caledonian crows are at it again. (Look at the video, too.)
  174. Great example of how genes, evolution, and behavior go together- "fingering." (The scientific report itself in is the Sept. 5 issue of Science.)
  175. testosterone and child care? (Not that surprisisng.)
  176. non-human primate (NHP) beer drinkers! (Pen-tailed treeshrew & slow loris)
  177. placenta influences brain size
  178. Lost gorillas found?
  179. Sex difference genes in primates go way back. More on the matter...
  180. Overview of ape-human differences. Should chimps be persons?
  181. Energy use- climbing vs walking
  182. Lemur history
  183. Gibbons sing! No kidding!
  184. Why are humans not like chimps? (Science magazine; need UNH access.)
  185. Human pregnancy shifts the trunk's center of mass anterior to the hips. Here we show that human females have evolved a derived curvature and reinforcement of the lumbar vertebrae to compensate for this bipedal obstetric load. Similarly dimorphic morphologies in fossil vertebrae of Australopithecus suggest that this adaptation to fetal load preceded the evolution of Homo.
    Source: Nature
  186. Orangutan conservation?
  187. Interesting study but somewhat dubious logic as portrayed in this brief report anyway. (See Lashley circqa 1951 "Serial order...in behavior")
  188. Are Japanese chimps really so smart? (Or is the proper control group two-year old high imagery kids! ) See the Lab.
  189. More on apes use of an HBC.
  190. Mountain gorilla conservation suffers
  191. Monkey business, monkey stew?
  192. Chimp tools is a hot topic- see this account. Would it be interesting if these particular chimps have different numbers of starch digesting genes!
  193. Continued support for "out of Africa" theory -- origin of humans
  194. "Stone age feminism?"-- another decline of Neanderthal story
  195. Beauty, mate attraction, and face symmetry. (nothing really surprising but has a good bibliography)
  196. endangered primates
  197. interview with Frans de Waal on the topic of morality and his new book.
  198. Tool-using crow caught on UTube.
  199. Washoe, 42, dies of natural causes. (Does using ASL signs mean using ASL?) Visit Washoe's home.
  200. The 25 most endangered primates...
  201. Did Neanderthal's have red hair? (See more on skin color below) Did they talk? Compare with apes?
  202. The latest on chimp-human genetic differences --up to 6+%?
  203. Why did the monkey cross the road? To run amuck? What to do?
  204. review of Baboon Metaphysics -- anthropomorphism run rampant or insight into baboon minds?
  205. Real sperm competition!
  206. Mountain gorilla conservation and tourism video. Recent problems.
  207. Bad news baboons!
  208. Why are human babies "smarter" than apes-- if they are? Read the original on 512BB.
  209. What are genes?
  210. How does hearing work?
  211. Alex the parrot dies! More on Alex and his intelligent behavior.
  212. More on genes and human diet (starch conversion genes? ). Compare with chimps.
  213. Why would a monkey pee on its foot? (recall Life in Trees lemurs!)
  214. Genes for color vision found in nocturnal aye-aye. Why haven't these genes mutated much in 60+ million years?
  215. Genetic similarity saga continues!
  216. Bonobo cooperation and sex
  217. Background on Nadia Kohts' husband.
  218. Speculation on origins of chimp gestures and human language (watch video too!)
  219. What are they smoking in Des Moines these days? (OK this hardly is news!)
  220. Interesting-- But can't dogs do this too?
  221. Still more on gorilla and human genes.
  222. No more breeding research chimps.
  223. New monkey, ape, human ancestral fossil at 29 mya.
  224. social and sexual factors shape primate brains (no kidding!)
  225. Specific human memory genes?
  226. Vacinate gorillas for ebola?
  227. Can a chimp have a legal guardian? (See links too.)
  228. Gorilla genes - varied like chimps not humans .New chimp DNA studies suggest 3 groups + bonobo.
  229. More on evolution of lesser pigmented skin -- even later coincident with farming?
  230. review of chimp tools and cognition -good photos at NYTimes.
  231. Humans - adapted to run marathons!
  232. Monkey genome sequenced; where do they fit in the primate tree? What's next?
  233. A Chihuahua walking with a Great Dane more than 50 times its mass. The extreme diversity in body size among purebred dogs is greater than that of any other mammalian species. Researchers have identified a gene that helps explain this size diversity. . Photo: Deanne Fitzmaurice Science, April 6, 2007. Compare with these two.
  234. Primates designed to recognize faces? (See Gomez, 2004 and video notes on prospagnosia, too.)
  235. Monkey 'tool' use? Links to recent apes tool uses too.
  236. Aspinall's gorillas in trouble
  237. Growth rates to maturity are very important in the overall understanding of species!
  238. Female chimps prefer the competition for sex with them!
  239. This is not the first human finger an ape's bitten off!
  240. Greater cooperation in bonobos than chimps? and more.
  241. Humans acquired pubic lice from gorillas? More info at NYT.
  242. Mountain gorilla birth-- an account of tough life in the Congo
  243. our tiny primate ancestors -- not really that new but interesting graphics also see Texas primates of 43mya.
  244. chimps have been using stone nut crackers for 1000s of years-- but what does this mean? Not what this article suggests... what is really interesting is why they haven't progressed over this time?
  245. more on the diet-fish-brain connection (see diet notes list for more)
  246. report that chimps observed using sharp sticks as spears Not that big a deal? (We've seen video on chimps and maybe orangs using sticks as probes.)
  247. Stress and primates -- too much free time?
  248. Little Joe returns to the Franklin zoo!
  249. Still another way to estimate timing of human evolution and migration -- a gut estimate!
  250. Interview about lemurs
  251. Even more and more on the Hobbit- at least this report shows the logic of the inquiry..
  252. Monkey terrorists?
  253. Chimp sexual harrassment?
  254. Reality TV- pregnant Czech gorilla
  255. Hobit fans fight back! A new species??? (see below for previous discussions)
  256. Contagious cancer in canines? (Not really a primate issue but one of the most widely read papers in 2006 reveals the power of DNA analyses.)
  257. Fine tuning "out of Africa" dates -- See "children of Eve" video notes for more.
  258. More early homo Sapien tools
  259. Holy Harry! What would Harlow think of these "attachment parents."
  260. New milk genes discovered! Shows recent changes within several thousand years. (reference)
  261. Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man. Dale Peterson. xii + 740 pp. Houghton Mifflin, 2006. $35. (read review).
  262. New papers on primate communication --broadly considered. The December issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society-Biology, available online via UNH library has several articles of interest on role of faces, odors, and vocalization in social/sexual communication and bonding. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
    Issue: Volume 361, Number 1476 / December 29, 2006

    Issue Title: Theme Issue ‘The neurobiology of social recognition, attraction and bonding’ organized by Keith M. Kendrick
  263. summary on attraction research--biology and/or culture? What about chimps?
  264. One more report that Neanderthals did not interbreed with human ancestors for way over 400,00 years. this conflicts wiith another report that perhaps they did. Of course it may be that some did and some didn't! But how fast did Neanderthals grow? It's apparently a story told in their teeth.
  265. raising gorillas at the Columbus zoo;(recall Gorilla video)
  266. Goodall, coffee, and chimp conservation.
  267. "Intervew" with Kanzi? Interesting but Pullum is right on questions and opinions. Why?
  268. Human vs chimp eyes -- we follow those eyes (cf Joint attention and gaze studies)
  269. Human sexual behavior --recent survey.
  270. Still more on chimp-human "regulatory" gene differences
  271. Orang brains vary by diet?
  272. Human neanderthal common ancestor over 400,000 year ago?
  273. More on the "hobbit" -- just a microcephalic human? Here is the latest thinking, 12/12/06.
  274. Sleep, your hippocampus and grades! (Humans have relatively large ones -- one on each side!)
  275. Monkey cops and robbers!
  276. women dress differently during ovulation? Can this be true?
  277. Nuts and bolts of human brain evolution-- excellent overview of gene changes. And Time magazine has a cover story on human evolution too!
  278. chimp culture or just learning?
  279. New Dehli strangler strikes again!
  280. Lucy's baby found! (not really-- but a very complete fossilized 3 year old Australopithecus afarensis.)
  281. the latest on Neanderthals
  282. Interesting interview with deWaal
  283. Why do chimps cross the road?
  284. Yet another gene difference between humans and chimps etc.
  285. primate species IQ rank? Do they have shared cognitive skills?
  286. human vs chimp semen?
  287. Feathered dinosaurs? -- or at least a very old bird.
  288. more on human-ape immune cell differences
  289. Starling bird song - interesting regarding sexual selection but hardly evidence for recursion. Nor is this paper that informative about avian pattern matching or counting abilities that underly these data.
  290. Ohio State primate affair! (See earlier item.)
  291. A good reason not to be a Spanish socialist? But could it be worse than....?
  292. Police hunt gang of killer chimps!-- not exactly a man-hunt! More. and more and more.
  293. Attractive women can be distracting! No kidding.
  294. What's the possible connection between specific gene on the X chromosome, early experience and violence? (Serotonin levels)
  295. Lateralization of brain functions goes way back before hands and language?
  296. Older bipedal versions of Lucy discovered. (See also the BBC story.)
  297. Chimp Gestures? No big surprise.
  298. why primate color vision? Not for ripe fruit? Even more on this social/sexual story!
  299. still even more on human and ape genetic differences
  300. child and chimp helping behavior compared
  301. Darwin's finches beak gene
  302. Bonobos for dinner?
  303. Neurogenesis -- the story of new adult neurons.
  304. Whose is reproducing and who is not? Does it matter? Across the globe, people are choosing to have fewer children or none at all. Governments are desperate to halt the trend, but their influence
    seems to stop at the bedroom door. Are some societies destined to
    become extinct? Hardly. It's more likely that conservatives will
    inherit the Earth. Like it or not, a growing proportion of the next
    generation will be born into families who believe that father knows
  305. Neanderthals in Europe were killed off by the advance of modern humans thousands of years earlier than previously believed, losing a competition for food and shelter.
  306. Brain Sex or just BS?
  307. More on diet and brain expansion -- nothing really new but some nice links.
  308. Ape menopause? (Long an unanswered question!)
  309. Baboon attacks! (sounds like the bear problem here)
  310. Gordon M. Shepherd, "Smells, Brains and hormones," NATURE 439 (12 Jan. 2006), 149-151.
  311. Converging methods on face perception cells (Science, 2006, vol.311)
  312. Chimpanzees revenge?
  313. Feet evolve too!-- Just as human hands compared with our cousisn apes' hands tells a story of our evolution, so does the evolution of our feet.
  314. Big balls, little brains? -- at least for some bats! (OK, this is a bit of trivia but the comparison of relations among body part size is a useful tool in examining aspects of the evolution of species. See the brief comments on chimps and "sexual selection".. The more general term for such comparisons is allometry. Results are often expressed in terms of a regression equation, expressing body part size (e.g. brain size) as a function of overall body size.
  315. Same gene makes zebrafish golden and some humans white? (This is a complex and important issue enabling our ancestors to populate not only equatorial zones but northern climates and high altitude regions. It relates to diet and developmental damage resulting from too little or too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun, as well as loss of hair in humans, along with apparently an increase in sweat glands. The recent fish gene finding does not address these other issues but is a part of the entire untold story. See Jablonsky NG, and G Chaplin (2000) Evolution of human skin color. Journal of Human Evolution, 39, 57–106. for more. What about chimp skin? It seems largely white beneath their hair but blotchy and darker on some exposed surfaces. Look at this bonobo mom!) There are even claims of personality correlates of pigmentation -- though they don't seem to be very strong effects..Recent gene comparisions suggest that lighter skin is a relatively recent development in human groups, perhaps evolving independently in European and Asian groups.
  316. About lemurs
  317. A few fathers and many mothers in human reproductive history? "Medieval Irish warlord boasts three million descendants"
  318. Mirror neuron deficits in autism?
  319. Monkey dialects - birds have them,, why not monkeys?
  320. Koko nipple fetish case settled out of court! (see video notes for more.)
  321. New exhibition on Darwin at the American Museum of Natural History, NYC.
  322. Are healthy people more attractive?
  323. Monkey mathematics!
  324. Chimp attack victim speaks out
  325. Oldest anthropoids ~50 mya
  326. World's Oldest Party Girl!
  327. Gorilla uses tools! Interesting but no big surprise other than the supposed age of 2.5, which is much earlier than tool use by chimps..
  328. More on chimp aggression and warfare.
  329. Koko had a toothache! (But don't believe everything about her ASL.)
  330. Aging primate brains: chimps and humans differ?
  331. More on diet and brain development in primates (More on this issue here.)
  332. Even more on ape and human brain genes!
  333. Chimp genes compared with ours! (New paper in Nature; BBC feature; excellent review of recent findings The Scientist. ). There's also news about Clint, who donated DNA.
  334. cognitive evolution a byproduct?
  335. Out of Africa confirmed.
  336. Oldest DNA sequenced -- 75,000 year old Iraqi Neanderthal
  337. NOVA on recent 3 foot tall human discovery (Homo floresiensis) (good photos, video)
  338. Who knows when they ovulate?
  339. Functions of orgasms?
  340. human mating and attractiveness (no surprises)
  341. Survival of the Fattest (new book)
  342. Apes in Iowa??
  343. early ape or human ancestor?
  344. Chimps scream meaningul! (no surprises here)
  345. Oldest bone protein DNA extracted from 75000 year old Neanderthal --same as human.
  346. Oldest bipedal fossil at 3.8-4 mya.
  347. chimps attack humans! (See below for gorilla attacks!) More and more!
  348. Even more on eating meat in human evolution - a review!
  349. Koko in the news or try.! (For less interesting info on Koko, see PBS. Look for the latest on Koko's supposed Hawaiian retreat.)
  350. oldest human fossils re-dated to 195,000 years ago
  351. even more on mate attraction - it must be Vday! but note the function of senses.
  352. Update on MR Kusasi!
  353. Facial attraction
  354. Superbowl ad chimps?
  355. Growing up Neanderthal:
  356. How smart are those scary crows?
  357. Genes that control the size and complexity of the brain have undergone much more rapid evolution in humans than in non-human primates.(ditto)
  358. Update on dogs vs chimps (see 47).
  359. Monitoring mountain gorilla habitat demise.
  360. HIV and primate genetics - humans not resistant.
  361. New species? Miniature Homo floresiensis discovered on island near Java.
  362. More on chimps' termite tools!
  363. Most recent common human ancestor only a few thousand years ago?
  364. Out of Africa, once, twice, and three times? (And back a couple?)
  365. more on the creation of sign language (NSL)
  366. even more on ape-human genes
  367. more on chimp-human gene differences.
  368. Old gorilla prepares for lung surgery!
  369. Brain evolution genes identified. Some nice photos revealing changes in folding complexity.
  370. Among a troop of savanna baboons in Kenya, a terrible outbreak of tuberculosis 20 years ago selectively killed off the biggest, nastiest and most despotic males, setting the stage for a social and behavioral transformation unlike any seen in this notoriously truculent primate. (From the NY Times report.) Also see the original.at www.plosbiology.org.
  371. More on chimp-human genes from Dr. Paabo. Not coincidentally, there's a discussion of this FOXP2 gene in birds elsewhere (also see the Jarvis webpage.) If you go to Paabo's website, check out his papers and follow the link "DNA from the beginning."
  372. Baboons in love?
  373. New baby orangutan at the San Diego Zoo. Maybe on the webcam?
  374. Gene mutation discovered separating larger chimp masticatory muscles from corresponding Homo X muscles. This fits with a number of other findings indicating a major change in diet about 2.4mya.
  375. Here's a report of a study on the social organization of lowland gorilla groups. An interesting method of assessing gorilla age is illustrated.
  376. Another factor in dietary change is cooking. (See Wrangham reading.). New research suggests human ancestors may have been cooking meat even 1.5 mya. (Cooking often makes nutrients more available to digestion -- external rather than internal food processing.)
  377. There's more discussion on the dietary shift to meat by our ancestors abour 2.5mya. Meat-tolerant genes offset high cholesterol and chronic diseases in human ancestors, according to a new USC study. Without them, researchers say, the species could have been ‘wiped out’ millions of years ago.
  378. Another adolescent male gorilla escapes from zoo, attacks child, and is killed. Recall Joe in Boston.
  379. An analysis of teeth and other 6 million year old remains found in Ethiopia "may .. represent the first species on the human branch of the family tree just after the evolutionary split between lines leading to modern chimpanzees and humans," said Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator and head of physical anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio, who led the study." This species was small-brained, apparently bipedal with small non-apelike teeth.
  380. New fossil brain cast suggests evolution of brain organization preceded later size increases. An endocast of a 2 to 3 million year old fossil Astralopithecus africanus suggests visual areas declining in size. Presumably the reduction in visual brain space was accompanied by an increase of nearby functions of visual cognition, facial recognition and social communication. See BBC article and image.
  381. Multiple Ebola Epidemics Devastated Apes
    The Ebola virus is a truly horrific killer, inducing raging fevers and widespread hemorrhaging, and -- in it most lethal guise -- killing more than 80% of its victims. Since the 1995 outbreak in Zaire that grabbed worldwide attention, central Africa has suffered nearly a dozen more deadly outbreaks. In addition to the obvious human toll, many researchers estimate that Ebola has killed thousands of great apes in recent years and may push them close to extinction within the next decade. As a result, public health experts and conservationists alike are urgently trying to pinpoint the source of the continuing epidemic. In a study reported in the 16 Jan 2004 Science, Leroy et al. (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/303/5656/387) tested tissue samples from human and animal victims of five outbreaks in western central Africa (between 2001 and 2003). They found that each outbreak was caused by a genetically distinct virus, and that many localized epidemic chains could be distinguished. Thus, a large proportion of the ape populations in this region have probably died as a result of multiple rounds of Ebola virus infection in the past four years. As noted in an accompanying News story by G. Vogel (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/303/5656/298a), some think the geographic pattern of outbreaks suggests that apes are catching the disease primarily from other apes, while others argue that an unidentified natural carrier like bats may be a source of new infections. Nevertheless, both sides seem to agree that surveillance of animal mortality could help to predict and prevent future human Ebola outbreaks.
  382. Monkey vocalizations and human speech share left-brain processing. The left temporal lobe in both species seems specialized for species specific vocalizations.
  383. Olfactory genes inactivated as primate vision evolves into full trichromatic human color vision. (The general inverse relation between olfactory and visual sensory brain is not new but this study indicates the genetic correlates of this change.)
  384.   The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced the first draft version of the genome sequence of the chimpanzee and its alignment with the human genome. All of the data have been deposited into free public databases and are now available for use by scientists around the world. For more on the scientific rationale for sequencing the chimp genome, go to: www.genome.gov/Pages/Research/Sequencing/SeqProposals/ChimpGenome2.pdf. It appears at first glance that the genomes are over 99% similar but that relatively large differences are in areas devoted to smell, hearing, and digestion -- none of which should be surprising.
  385.     Recently, we have identified a class of neurons that are unique to humans and our closest relatives, the great apes. These are large spindle-shaped cells located in anterior cingulate cortex. Anterior cingulate cortex is reduced in both size and metabolic activity in autistic patients versus control subjects .   The activity of the area is also reduced in patients with attention deficit disorder and depression.  The activity in this area is increased in patients with obsessive-compulsive, phobic, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety disorders. 
          Area 24 appears to be an interface between emotion and cognition. 
  386. Flies evolve (along with mate preferences)
  387. A United Nations-sponsored meeting in Paris this week will indicate whether humanity has the wherewithal to save our closest cousins in the animal kingdom from extinction.
  388. Chimps evolve (NYT, Nov.25)
  389. Mother love -- the chemistry!
  390. Flirting raises hormones -- no kidding!
  391. early tool find of 2.6 mya suggests tools->diet->>>brain size
  392. monogamous birds less monogamous than previously thought. (Similar issues arise in primate reproduction.)
  393. Human brains more "active" than chimp's brains? This genetic activity suggests much greater brain differences between species than other organ differences like the heart or kidney, where gene activity levels are quite similar.
  394. Monkey minds learn to control tools? Monkeys learn to control a robot arm by thinking about it. Watch! Find out more at Duke University.
  395. Can cooking be a biological trait of humans? This is a follow-up on the Wrangham readng in TO.
  396. Do chimps laugh like humans?
  397. Little Joe from the Bronx, a.k.a. "The scientist" and "Don Juan" escapes from Franklin Park zoo.
  398. on the trail of the African mystery ape
  399. obituary of Patricia S. Goldwin-Rakic -- studied functions of primate prefrontal cortex
  400. Bwindi Gorillas Form New Group and the economic potential for tourism.
    AllAfrica.com, September 29, 2003
  401. Effects of supplemental fatty acids (cod liver oil) in maternal diet on brain size and cognitive abilities of her children. (This interesting article goes along with the discussion of the role of meat iin diet (above), and interestingly the speculative "Aquatic Ape" theory of human evolution which postulates an intermediate group of ancestral hominids who lived along shores, with a diet of seafood. Most scientists are skeptical of this but there are some unexplained issues in human evolution including human fat layers, tear ducts, and hair reduction. At the very least this illustrates the complex relationship between reproduction, diet, brain size and cognition. Even though differences in the study are not large, in terms of evolution, a small advantage in reproductive fitness can multiply itself over generations resulting in a significant species difference -- in this case perhaps brain size.) Perhaps even more important, this susggests what a poor diet might to an infant's brain.
  402. Papa baboon looks out for his own?
  403. Lucy - relation between her Australopithecus afarensis teeth and Homo x teeth suggests change in diet to meat.
  404. Lucy - relation between body size and behavior? Implications of sexual dimorphism
  405. On obtaining information from humans: Dogs 1, Chimps 0
  406. Listen and watch the Orangs on NPR
  407. Sex, brain and birth -- any connection?
  408. More on "mirror neurons" in primates.
  409. sea lion memories
  410. Monkey math - homologous brain networks in counting? (10/03)
  411. Air force chimps retire.
  412. Genes for brain size reported.
  413. Gene similarity between chimps and humans less than previously claimed (but not much less)
  414. Are we all decended from a single cell as Darwin conjectured? Recently a microbiologist, Carl Woese, proposed an alternative.