On January 31, 1961, a brave 3-year-old chimpanzee was strapped into a capsule inside the Mercury Redstone rocket and launched 160 miles above the earth.
What is culture? One simple definition might be: a distinctive behavior shared by two or more individuals, which persists over time, and that ignorant individuals acquire through socially-aided learning.
Image: 1936 Joy Oil gas station blueprints (top); sequence from human chromosome 1 (bottom). Source: from A Monkey’s Blueprint by Martin Krzywinski on SA Visual When artist Martin Krzywinski was challenged to come up with a graphic that quickly and concisely shows how the human genome is more similar to chimpanzee and bonobo genomes than [...]
A large portion of what animals do is interact with each other. As a social species, we can hardly go an hour without some kind of interaction with another human, be it face-to-face or via text or email.
Imagine that you walk into a room, where three people are sitting, facing you. Their faces are oriented towards you, but all three of them have their eyes directed towards the left side of the room.
Gordon Gallup sets the record straight on the semen displacement theory
Brittany Fallon is a PhD candidate at the Universit de Neuchtel who works on the Sonso chimpanzee community of the Budongo Forest Reserve in Uganda.
Chimpanzees and bonobos gesture to one another, much as we humans do. Kirsty Graham tells me a bit more about what these gestures can tell us about the evolution of our own language
A few months ago I moved to Reno, Nevada. Although I haven't been to a casino yet myself, living in a so-called `casino town' makes you acutely aware of the effects of gambling on people.
Evidence has been accumulating for several years that contagious yawning is driven by social cognition. But how? And is it related to empathy?
We often turn to dogs and to chimpanzees to understand our species. Chimpanzees are our closest relatives (with bonobos), while centuries of selective breeding have turned dogs into a species uniquely suited to comprehend our own social cues.
Dogs are particularly good at tasks that involve communicating or cooperating with humans, which has led some researchers to speculate that they are really good at solving social tasks, more generally.
A few months ago I had a conversation with someone who had just canceled a long-planned trip to see mountain gorillas in Uganda. It wasn’t an easy decision, but she had just gotten over a bad case of the flu.
Animal communication studies have shown only fixed vocalizations, such as alarm cries. But Bonobo chimps appear to have a call that has different meanings in different contexts