Area of Monkey Brain Keeps Tally of Altruistic Acts


Steve Chang and his colleagues from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, have discovered that monkeys have a specific area in their brains to keep track of altruistic acts. This might help researchers understand the mechanisms underlying normal social behavior in primates and humans, and could even provide insight about autism spectrum disorder.

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Kayan Loris, A Newly Discovered Species of Slow Loris


The primate genus Nycticebus contains a group called slow lorises, which is closely related to lemurs, and can be found across South East Asia. Recently, biologists discovered a new species in the jungles of Borneo.

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Survey Shows Great Apes Also Have Mid-Life Crisis


Chimpanzees and orangutans experience a mid-life crisis just like humans, according to a survey of 508 great apes in captivity shows.

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Cooking Fueled the Growth of the Human Brain


A new study has calculated the energetic cost of growing a bigger brain. If humans had been eating a raw food diet exclusively, they would have had to spend more than 9 hours a day eating in order to get enough energy from unprocessed raw food alone to support their large brains.

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Baboons with Stable Relationships are Nicer and Live Longer


In humans, people with strong social ties live longer, have healthier lives, whereas hostile tendencies can lead to an early death. In animals, this seems to be the case as well. Strong social networks contribute to longer lives and healthier offspring. Personality might also be a factor in other primates’ longevity.

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Hyenas Might Be As Intelligent As Some Primates


While hyenas have often been depicted as slobbering, dim-witted fools in animated movies, a new study shows that the African carnivores are adept at problem-solving, and can even count. This makes scientists believe that Hyaenidae could have comparable intelligence levels to some primates.

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Helium Reveals Gibbons’ Developed & Far Ranging Vocalizations


Gibbons have mastered some of the vocal techniques that are akin to what human sopranos rely on whilst delivering their operas. Japanese scientists have been researching them and testing their vocalizations in helium rich atmospheres.

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Why Chimps Kill Each Other

Chimps are pretty close to humans, genetically speaking. I found this article interesting. It tells the story of how chimps kill each other for territorial reasons. This time around, humans were just observers. They didn’t interfere nor did they try to influence the chimps in any way.

Empathy and Yawn Contagion

Primatologist Frans de Waal gives his opinion on empathy, and the lack of it. (via 3qd)