primates

Showing 9 posts tagged primates

In the mountains of Ethiopia, the BBC’s Steve Backshall and his Deadly 60 team track a group of graminivorous (grass-eating) gelada baboons to observe their amazing, lion-sized, canine teeth, which are central to the primates’ social communications. From Mary Bates at Wired’s Zoologic blog

The gum-bearing yawn was most common with males, especially high-ranking ones. This kind of yawn exposed the gelada’s impressive canine teeth, which stood out against the reddish-pink color of their gums and the inside of their mouths. It was often accompanied by a loud call, and the researchers believe the yawn functions as a long-distance display. Males used this yawn during periods of tension, such as the time right before feeding, suggesting it may serve to intimidate other geladas.

The other two less intense types of yawns were seen most in females during friendly interactions. The researchers found these yawns to be more contagious, and observed females mirroring the intensity of other females’ yawns. They believe these yawns are part of a complex communication system between geladas that often engage in friendly interactions. The contagiousness of the yawns in these contexts suggests the behavior might play a role in synchronizing the activity between two geladas, strengthening the emotional connection between them,  or signaling the quality of their relationship.

Gelada males and females might use yawns differently, but all three types of yawn contribute to the smooth workings of gelada society; they function to let everyone know who’s in charge and which geladas are friends.

In the archives: more BBC, more primatesmore yawns, and some teeth.

The question “Who was the first human?” was a very popular one in our house just last year, but the evolution videos we had in the archives – even the awesome Five Fingers of Evolution TED Ed video – didn’t answer it directly enough for my kids. This visual-filled video timeline from Joe Hanson of It’s Okay to Be Smart does: There was no first human.

You can never pinpoint the exact moment that a species came to be, because it never did. Just like how you used to be a baby and now you’re older, but there was no single day when you went to bed young and woke up old…

There was no first human. It sounds like a paradox, it sounds like it breaks the whole theory of evolution, but it’s really a key to truly understanding how evolution works. 

Also, your grandparents (a hundred eight-five million generations removed) were fish!

In the archives, more videos about evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson explains evolution, and a related must-watch video about our human history: Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar from the original Cosmos.

From jtotheizzoe.

Join Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek as she treks into northwest Rwanda to meet a family of critically endangered mountain gorillas for the first time. This was filmed for the BBC nature documentary series Cousins (2000).

In the archives, meet more gorillas and watch one of our favorite ape videos: an orangutan family spends quiet time together in the jungle.

In this clip from PBS’ The Funkiest Monkeys, we travel into an Indonesian island rainforest to learn about the complex relationships of the extremely intelligent and social crested black macaques

There is an unusual looking monkey called the crested black macaque that is endemic to rainforests in Indonesia, which includes the island of Sulawesi. These striking black primates, sporting punk hairstyles and copper-colored eyes, first caught the attention and won the heart of wildlife cameraman and biologist Colin Stafford-Johnson 25 years ago. But since then, their numbers have dropped by almost 90 percent, so the filmmaker returns to the island to discover why and how he could help.

Upon his arrival, Stafford-Johnson finds a very different looking Sulawesi. An island once entirely covered in forest, is now undertaken with new roads, people and buildings. He meets up with the leader of a team of local biologists — Giyarto, or Ugi for short — who has been studying the macaques for seven years. Together they will make a film to show how special these monkeys are, hoping to involve the local community in protecting them before they disappear forever.

You can check out The Funkiest Monkeys trailer here. Related watching in the archives: Japanese macaques cuddle in hot springs, and more endangered creatures.

Watch how Lar Gibbon named Siam crosses a suspension bridge at Monkeyland, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. via Daily Picks and Flicks.

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary is the world’s first free roaming primate sanctuary, home to over 500 primates all living together in 30 acres of forest. Species at the sanctuary include gibbons, capuchins, squirrel monkeyshowler monkeys, saki monkeys, vervet monkeys, langurs, ring-tailed lemurs and black and white ruffed lemurs.

Take a video tour to see Monkeyland in action: