When it comes to figuring out which individual among a group of primates is the most dominant, some scientists simply look for the one that’s being the most assertive or aggressive. New research suggests this approach grossly underestimates the social complexity of nonhuman primates, and that there’s more to social dominance than being a bully.
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Prior to developing the capacity for speech, toddlers communicate their desires, demands and discontent using a diverse repertoire of physical gestures. As a new study shows, there’s a significant amount of overlap between the gestures employed by human children and those made by other ape species, a finding that’s casting new light on the origin of primate communication.
In a twist that rivals cinema's best, a new study published Tuesday in Royal Society Open Science suggests a horrible truth: We've been the damn dirty apes all along. It found that beds made by one of our closest primate relatives, chimpanzees, contain little personal filth, meaning germs and parasites from their own body, and certainly much less filth than what's typically seen in human homes and beds.
Humans are the only animals known to develop Alzheimer's disease, an age-related brain disorder that causes impaired cognitive functioning and other behavioural problems. Or at least, that's what we thought. For the first time ever, researchers are claiming to have found signs of the disease in the brains of elderly chimps -- a discovery that could yield new insights into the dreaded disorder.
In a scene eerily reminiscent of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, an escaped chimpanzee sought refuge on the power lines of a Japanese suburb. The chimp was eventually subdued after a frantic two-hour police chase, but you have to wonder: Why didn't he get zapped by the power lines? Here's the answer.