Chimpanzee Culture & Intelligence

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Chimps may be smarter than we thought. From theWashington Post. :

'A band of chimpanzees in West Africa routinely swing crude stone hammers to crack open nuts, a sophisticated use of tools the apes have been teaching to each new generation for more than a century.

Using carefully selected stones weighing up to 33 pounds, the chimps pound the tough shell of the panda nut to extract a high-energy kernel that is an important part of the animal's diet, researchers report Friday in the journal Science...

...Mothers teach their children to bang on nuts, and some young chimps have been seen hitting nuts with smaller stones, imitating their parent.

The researchers said the nut-smashing technique is known to only some bands of West African chimpanzees. It has not been seen among chimps in central Africa, although the apes there have nuts and stones available to them.

This suggests that nut smashing is a cultural, learned behavior that has not spread widely among the apes...

...In their research, Mercader and Panger [who conducted the study] used archaeological methods to dig around an anvil site. They found stone chips that had apparently broken off stone hammers in past generations. Age dating of deposits at one site showed that the apes had used it as nut-cracking station for at least 110 years, Panger said.'

'Anvil sites' are hardwood tree roots that chimps rest the nuts on to break them. I think what is particularly interesting is that this behaviour is limited to specific geographical areas. The article notes that chimps may open and eat 100 nuts a day giving them 3000 calories. I wonder if their abilities give them an inherent advantage over other chimp groups that would allow them to out-compete them over time.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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I expanded this to cover chimp culutre, etc. - some important publications:

McGrew, W.C. (1994) Chimpanzee Material Culture: Implications for Human Evolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

McGrew, W.C., Marchant, L.F. & Nishida, T. (eds) (1996) Great Ape Societies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Wrangham, R.W., McGrew, W.C., De Waal, F. & Heltne, P.G. (eds) (1996) Chimpanzee Cultures. Harvard University Press.

Whiten, A.W., Goodall, J. , McGrew, W.C., Nishida, T., Reynolds V., Sugiyama, Y., Tutin, C.E.G., Wrangham, R.W. & Boesch, C. (1999) Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature. 399 (6737). 682 - 5.

As an increasing number of field studies of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have achieved long-term status across Africa, differences in the behavioural repertoires described have become apparent that suggest there is significant cultural variation. Here we present a systematic synthesis of this information from the seven most long-term studies, which together have accumulated 151 years of chimpanzee observation. This comprehensive analysis reveals patterns of variation that are far more extensive than have previously been documented for any animal species except humans. We find that 39 different behaviour patterns, including tool usage, grooming and courtship behaviours, are customary or habitual in some communities but are absent in others where ecological explanations have been discounted. Among mammalian and avian species, cultural variation has previously been identified only for single behaviour patterns, such as the local dialects of song-birds,. The extensive, multiple variations now documented for chimpanzees are thus without parallel. Moreover, the combined repertoire of these behaviour patterns in each chimpanzee community is itself highly distinctive, a phenomenon characteristic of human cultures but previously unrecognised in non-human species.

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And another intriguing report:

December 06, 2004

Brain Asymmetries in Chimps Resemble Those of Humans


The brains of chimpanzees show a number of similarities to those of humans, the results of two new studies suggest. Findings published in the December issue of Behavioral Neuroscience indicate that the animals have differences between the right and left sides of their brains in much the same way that humans do. In addition, it appears that the neurological basis for handedness is not unique to our species.

Hani D. Freeman of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and his colleagues scanned the brains of 60 chimpanzees with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and measured two key regions of the brain's limbic system, the hippocampus and the amygdala. They found that the hippocampus, important to learning and spatial memory among other things, was asymmetrical--the right half was significantly larger than the left. What is more, the difference was larger for males than it was for females. The amygdala, on the other hand, showed no difference in size between the left and right halves of the brain. Both of these patterns also characterize human brains. "The limbic system asymmetries advance the position that asymmetries are fundamental aspects of the nervous system of all primates, and apply to more primitive systems in the brain," remarks study co-author William Hopkins of Berry College and Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Hopkins was also a co-author of a second paper that investigated hand preference in chimps. The researchers observed 66 animals and correlated brain anatomy with three measures of handedness: reaching, feeding and fishing peanut butter out of a tube. They found that the chimps' hand preference was related to asymmetries in two brain regions associated with motor tasks, the planum temporale and the precentral gyrus. The results, the authors write, "suggest that the neurobiological basis for handedness evolved as early as five million years ago and emerged independent of systems associated with language and speech."

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Mighty_Emperor

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Media Contact:
Kelly Thompson
[email protected]
(404) 727-5686

06 December 2004

Yerkes Researchers Discover Basis for Determining Handedness in Chimpanzees

Hand preference and language go hand-in-hand, or do they? According to researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Researcher Center of Emory University, handedness is not associated with the language area of the brain, as has been the accepted scientific thought throughout history. Rather, handedness is associated with the KNOB, the area of the brain known for controlling hand movements in primates and, now, for determining handedness in chimpanzees. The researchers report their groundbreaking findings in the December 6 issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.

According to Bill Hopkins, PhD, research associate in the Division of Psychobiology at the Yerkes Research Center and the study's lead investigator, "The dominant scientific view has linked hand preference in humans with the area of the brain that controls language. After observing hand preference in chimpanzees, which have no comparable language capabilities, we concluded there must be another reason for handedness. Because human and chimpanzee brain structures are so similar, we wanted to determine if human handedness evolved from an area of the brain other than the language area."

Hopkins and his research team coordinated a series of motor tasks with chimpanzees to determine each animal's hand preference and then looked at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the animals' brains. They found asymmetries in the KNOB and in the area that is homologous to the human language brain region. A detailed review of the data showed the asymmetries in the KNOB corresponded to right- and left-handedness whereas the asymmetries in the language area did not, leading the researchers to conclude handedness is linked explicitly to the KNOB and not other brain regions.

In a separate study, which is published in the same issue of Behavioral Neuroscience, Dr. Hopkins' team supported their findings about asymmetry by confirming that the brain structure of chimpanzees is similar to the brain structure of humans. Using MRI scans of the chimpanzees' brains, the researchers discovered asymmetries in each brain hemisphere, a characteristic previously thought unique to humans.

"For years, researchers thought asymmetry is part of what distinguished the human brain from that of chimpanzees, but our results challenge that theory," said Dr. Hopkins.

To further explore what distinguishes the human brain from those of other species, Yerkes researchers are conducting a variety of studies to identify the changes in gene activity and biochemistry that occurred during human brain evolution as well as related changes in the connectivity and functions of the brain.


--------------------------
The Yerkes National Primate Research Center is one of eight national primate research centers funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Center is a recognized leader for its biomedical and behavioral studies involving nonhuman primates, which provide a critical link between research with small animals and clinical trials with humans. Yerkes researchers are poised with the knowledge and passion to conduct groundbreaking research programs and are on the forefront of developing vaccines for AIDS and malaria, and treatments for cocaine addiction and Parkinson's disease. Yerkes researchers also are leading programs that include seeking a better understanding aging and cognition, pioneering organ transplant procedures, determining the behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy and shedding light on human behavioral evolution.

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lopaka

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Umm, I guess this cool...

Great apes to learn human behaviors

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 Posted: 10:32 AM EDT (1432 GMT)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh sounds like a proud mother when she speaks about her brood of bonobos, eight ultra-intelligent apes that will take part in unique language research meant to shed light on their nature and maybe our own.

The first two bonobos will make the 16-hour road trip from the Language Research Center at Georgia State University to their new $10 million, 13,000-square-foot home near downtown Des Moines later this month. All eight -- three females and five males -- will arrive at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa by mid-May.

Bonobos, a species of ape from the Congo, are the most like humans, Savage-Rumbaugh said. They constantly vocalize "as though they are conversing" and often walk upright.

"If you want to find a human-like creature that exists in a completely natural state ... that creature is the bonobo," said Savage-Rumbaugh, an experimental psychologist who is one of the world's leading ape-language researchers.

If the apes are able to learn language, music and art, once thought to be distinct to humans, then "it strongly suggests that those things are not innate in us," she said.

"Those are things that we have created, and create anew and build upon from one generation to the next ..." she said. "Then we have the power to change it and make it any other way. We could have an ideal world, if we but learn how to do it."

The bonobos will be able to cook in their own kitchen, tap vending machines for snacks, go for walks in the woods and communicate with researchers through computer touchscreens. The decor in their 18-room home includes an indoor waterfall and climbing areas 30 feet high.

The longevity of the project is unlike any other.

The animals, which have a life span of up to about 50 years, will be allowed to mate and have families -- and develop cultures that will be studied for generations to come, Savage-Rumbaugh said.

Visitors are allowed, but they must understand that the Great Ape Trust is not a zoo, she said.

Using a network of cameras and computers, the bonobos can see visitors who ring the doorbell -- and will be able to choose through a computer touchscreen who will be permitted into a secured viewing area.

"Only if they want to open the door can you enter," Savage-Rumbaugh said.


Karen Killmar, an associate curator at the San Diego Zoo, said the Great Ape Trust is unlike other research programs.

"There's studies all over the place in terms of intelligence and learning ability and behavior," she said, "but to be able to sort of pull it all together in one place I think is a wonderful opportunity to give us a much clearer picture of what our closest relatives are."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/04 ... index.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

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More animals join the learning circle

* 10:30 28 August 2005
* From New Scientist Print Edition
* Betsy Mason

KILLER whales and chimpanzees both pass on "traditions" to other members of their group, according to two separate studies of feeding behaviour. The findings add to evidence that cultural learning is widespread among animals.

........

Whiten and his colleagues have meanwhile shown in a separate study that when chimpanzees learn a skill from their peers, they tend to stick with that method even if it isn't the most effective. Whiten's team taught two female chimps how to get food from a complicated feeder using a stick to move a barrier. One chimp learned to lift the barrier while the other was taught an apparently more efficient poking method. The chimps' group-mates were then allowed to watch their respective experts at work.

The chimps followed the lead of their own expert chimp - the poker's group preferred to poke and the lifter's group lifted (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature04047).

And even when some lifters learned to poke, the majority reverted to the group's original lifting strategy.

GETTING THE MESSAGE

Chimpanzees appear to be capable of communicating using sounds that refer to specific objects, according to a study of sounds made in response to different foods. It is the first time this ability has been demonstrated in chimps.

Primatologist Katie Slocombe of the University of St Andrews, UK, recorded the grunts made by chimps at nearby Edinburgh Zoo as they collected food at two feeders. One dispensed bread, considered a high-quality treat, and the other doled out apples, a much less sought-after snack.

Slocombe then played back the recordings and watched the reactions of a 6-year-old male named Liberius. The results were striking. After hearing a bread grunt, Liberius spent far more time searching around the bread feeder, while an apple grunt would send him hunting under the apple feeder. Slocombe presented the work at the US Animal Behavior Society meeting in Snowbird, Utah, this month.

This is the first convincing evidence of "referential communication" in chimps, says primatologist Amy Pollick of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Earlier research with a close cousin of the chimpanzee - a male pygmy chimpanzee, or bonobo, named Kanzi - showed that he made specific sounds for four different things: bananas, grapes, juice and yes. But the researchers did not test if the sounds conveyed any meaning to other bonobos, and the same experiments have never been done in chimpanzees.

Liberius, on the other hand, was able to take cues from apple and bread grunts made by at least three different chimpanzees.

Slocombe plans to expand her study to include chimps at the Leipzig Zoo in Germany and hopes to confirm whether the grunts refer to specific foods or to their relative quality.

------------
Betsy Mason

www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7913

The study has advanced publication on Nature:

Nature advance online publication; published online 21 August 2005 | doi: 10.1038/nature04047

Conformity to cultural norms of tool use in chimpanzees

Andrew Whiten1, Victoria Horner1,2 and Frans B. M. de Waal2
Top of page

Rich circumstantial evidence suggests that the extensive behavioural diversity recorded in wild great apes reflects a complexity of cultural variation unmatched by species other than our own1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. However, the capacity for cultural transmission assumed by this interpretation has remained difficult to test rigorously in the field, where the scope for controlled experimentation is limited13, 14, 15, 16. Here we show that experimentally introduced technologies will spread within different ape communities. Unobserved by group mates, we first trained a high-ranking female from each of two groups of captive chimpanzees to adopt one of two different tool-use techniques for obtaining food from the same 'Pan-pipe' apparatus, then re-introduced each female to her respective group. All but two of 32 chimpanzees mastered the new technique under the influence of their local expert, whereas none did so in a third population lacking an expert. Most chimpanzees adopted the method seeded in their group, and these traditions continued to diverge over time. A subset of chimpanzees that discovered the alternative method nevertheless went on to match the predominant approach of their companions, showing a conformity bias that is regarded as a hallmark of human culture11.

www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncur ... 04047.html

---------
See this post for discussion of the orca evidence:

www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 741#570741
 

ramonmercado

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Chimp "Dinner Conversation" Proof of Ape Speech?

Chimp "Dinner Conversation" Proof of Ape Speech?

Adrianne Appel
for National Geographic News

October 20, 2005
Scientists say they have discovered the first evidence that chimpanzees speak to each other about objects in their environment.

Chimps at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland use a crude language of grunts to talk to each other about their food, say primate experts at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


The chimps utter high-pitched noises (hear the audio) or low-pitched grunts (hear the audio) to tell each other about the food they find in their pen, the researchers say.

The finding could lead to better understanding of the origins of human speech, the scientists say.

Previous studies have found that monkeys, as opposed to apes, communicate with each other through sound about events in their environment and that great apes can use hand signals. The new chimp finding, however, may be the first evidence of great apes using vocal communication.

Humankind's closest genetic relatives, the great apes include gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans.

Bread Good, Apples Bad

At the Edinburgh Zoo the chimps make high grunting noises when they find bread, a food they seem to like, and low grunting sounds when they find apples, which they apparently don't care for very much, according to the study, published last week in the journal Current Biology.

After noting the different types of grunts, the researchers set out to see if other chimps listening to the grunts interpreted them the way the researchers had ("bread" and "apple"). The researchers found that the listening chimp did seem to understand what the grunts mean.

The scientists recorded the grunts and played them to a chimp in the pen. When the chimp heard the "bread" grunt, the ape looked in the place in the pen where bread is usually found. When the "apple" call was played, the chimp searched appropriately for an apple.

"It shows that, by simply listening to each other's calls, chimpanzees can infer what kind of food the caller has found," said researcher Katie Slocombe, who worked with colleague Klaus Zuberbuhler on the project.

More Experiments Planned

"We don't know yet how specific these calls are—i.e., whether they specifically refer to bread or apples or whether they simply label highly preferred food [such as bread] and less preferred food types [such as apples]. We are planning further experiments to test these two possibilities," Slocombe said.

In research terms, the grunts are known as functionally referential signals: signals that animals give to each other in response to an outside event or object, such as an alarm call that warns of a predator.


"These 'rough grunt' calls are specifically produced when chimpanzees find food," Zuberbuhler said. "This study is special, because it provides the first evidence that listening chimpanzees are sensitive to this variation: They seem to understand that the calls refer to the food encountered by the caller," he added.

Debby Cox, the Jane Goodall Institute's executive director for Uganda, said the chimp grunting research is "just the beginning."

"It's a no-brainer that they're going to have high grunts for highly prized food. It's the same with people," Cox said from the institute's Arlington, Virginia, headquarters. "Chimps are very motivated by food. In any research we use food as a reward."

That's not to say the new findings aren't surprising. "If other chimps recognize the high grunts, that's something that hasn't been looked at before,'' Cox said.

Also, "if specific grunts identify a specific food, that is something we haven't seen before," Cox said.

Dinner Bell

Study co-author Zuberbuhler believes that the grunts serve a social function, since the chimps hardly ever make the noises when they are eating alone.

The grunts may be a call to dinner, Zuberbuhler says. "Chimps may find it genuinely unpleasant to eat without others doing the same."

The Jane Goodall Institue's Cox has observed different behavior among chimps, however. "I'm not sure that I agree with chimps not grunting when they're alone. When infants, they grunt when we offer them food, but maybe that's because we're considered parents," Cox said.

The possible dinner-bell grunts may be related to certain human vocalizations, Zuberbuhler said.

"We don't like to eat in the presence of others who are not eating," he said.

"In many cultures humans coordinate the timing of starting a meal, for example, with vocal cues such as 'bon appetit.'"

Chimp
 

Diabolik8

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I read in a newspaper recently that a chimp in China has finally beaten his 16 year addiction to cigarettes with the aid of music & chocolate !

How on earth did he start the habit, that's what I want to know.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Published online: 20 February 2006; | doi:10.1038/news060220-3

Great apes found to be rich in culture

Gorillas, orang-utans and chimpanzees pass down traditions and follow fads.

Emma Marris

The evidence is mounting that great apes are a cultured lot, researchers heard at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in St. Louis this week.

It is well established that apes are clever: gorillas lift electric wires with sticks to slip underneath; orang-utans can crack nuts open with rocks; and chimpanzees have been spotted elegantly sipping water from a sponge of crumpled leaves.

But these tool-using apes also show signs of cultural traditions that vary from group to group, just as some customs are passed down from one generation to another in human societies. According to a trio of researchers at the AAAS, recent work has underscored the rich cultures of our nearest relatives.

In unpublished work, Tara Stoinski of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Atlanta surveyed zoos about their gorillas and turned up more than 40 cultural behaviours, such as hand clapping as an invitation to play, that varied from group to group. This hints that traditions are passed between apes. Even separate groups within the same zoo could vary, Stoinski found.

Wild orang-utans also show cultural variation, says Carel van Schaik from the University of Switzerland in Zurich. In one case he has seen, the apes on one side of a river a different technique to remove seeds from a fruit to those across the river. "And up the river, there is no technique at all," says van Schaik, who has identified roughly 40 cultural behaviours in orang-utans.

Van Schaik says he plans to use genetic tests to determine whether orang-utans that display the same behaviour are related. He hopes that these might also show how long ago some traditions originated.

In a flap

Chimps seem to be the most cultured nonhuman primates. Andrew Whiten from the University of St Andrews in Scotland says that researchers have found a huge range of chimp behaviours in the wild, including complex foraging techniques.

Chimps even adopt what Whitten calls "fads and fashions" that only persist for a short time, such as a hand flapping behaviour that was hip in some young chimps for a while.

The researchers say their findings will be useful in elucidating the origins of human cultures. "It helps to take some of the mystery out of cultural evolution in humans," says Schaik.

They add that an appreciation of culture in apes may encourage support for conservation. "The best we can do is engender respect and wonder for these animals that are so similar to us," says Schaik.

www.nature.com/news/2006/060220/full/060220-3.html
 

peterbernard2O9

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re:handedness

Handedness is not just something that occurs in primates. Most cats are ambidextrous but if they show a preference, it is usually lefty. I had a left-handed (or left-pawed) cat once living with me. He wouldn't stick his face in a bowl to eat, he would pick up pieces with his left paw and dine elegantly.
 

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If the apes are able to learn language, music and art, once thought to be distinct to humans, then "it strongly suggests that those things are not innate in us," she said.

Isn't that logic a little skewed? If the apes were able to independently create their own music and art without human interference then it would indeed prove that "those things are not innate in us". But the fact that a chimpanzee makes daubs with a paintbrush in order to please its trainer doesn't prove anything of the sort. You might as well say that the fact that a parrot can say "pieces of eight" proves that the English language is "innate" in parrots.
 

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"Dad, do you know the piano's on my foot?"
 

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"Dad, do you know the piano's on my foot?"

no, but if you hum a few bars i'll try and fake it!

ah the old pg tips (?) chimp ads. wonderful.
 

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Chimps reveal human side

Chimpanzees reveal their human side as good Samaritans

The first evidence that being a good Samaritan is not a uniquely human trait, as most scientists thought, has been published.

There are many examples in the animal kingdom of individuals, whether ants or monkeys, that help their relatives.

However, only humans seem to help others to whom we are not related - 'out of the goodness of our hearts'. But today, in the journal Science, two chimpanzee studies shed light on the science of co-operation and suggest that our closest relatives lend a hand in human-like ways.

In one, Felix Warneken and Dr Michael Tomasello of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, tested 18-month-old children and young chimpanzees to see if they offered help when the researchers carried out simple tasks, such as stacking books and reaching objects, such as a dropped clothes peg.

The infants seemed to understand their struggles, itself remarkable, and were eager to help with most tasks. 'The results were astonishing because these children already show helping behaviour,' said Mr Warneken. More remarkably, the chimpanzees were willing to help the humans reach an object, but they were less reliable helpers on other tasks. 'It has been claimed that chimpanzees act mainly for their own ends, but in our experiment, there was no reward and they still helped,' said Mr Warneken. Evidence of how chimps understand that co-operation is helpful comes from a second Max Planck study by Alicia Melis and colleagues, which shows that chimpanzees even choose 'expert' chimps to help them.

The researchers devised a series of experiments where chimpanzees needed to recruit their peers to help them reach food on a platform.

The chimpanzees seemed to keep track of their success with each potential partner and eventually chose collaborators who were more adept at retrieving the food.

'We've never seen this level of understanding during cooperation in any other animals except humans,' said Miss Melis.

In her study, not only did chimpanzees understand when they needed help, they understood their role, their partner's role, and chose who they wanted to work with. 'Clearly, chimpanzees can remember who's a good and who's a bad collaborator,' she said. 'Bad collaborators suffer by not being chosen next time.'

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Mighty_Emperor

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Apes shown to be able to plan ahead



By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID AP Science Writer
Friday, May 19, 2006 12:58 am GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- They don't bring along an umbrella or sunglasses that might be needed later, but researchers say apes, like people, can plan ahead.

Both orangutans and bonobos were able to figure out which tool would work in an effort to retrieve grapes, and were able to remember to bring that tool along hours later, researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

In a series of laboratory tests the apes were shown the tools and grapes, allowed to retrieve grapes, and then removed from the area where the treats were available.

They were allowed back from one to 14 hours later and most were able to bring along the correct tool to get the treats, report Nicholas J. Mulcahy and Josep Call of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

The researchers said the finding suggests that planning ahead arose at least 14 million years ago, when the last common ancestor of bonobos, orangutans and humans lived.

While the findings do not necessarily imply that the apes are able to anticipate a future state of mind, they are nonetheless groundbreaking, Thomas Suddendorf of the University of Queensland in Australia said in a commentary.

"By identifying what capacities our closest living relatives share with us, we can get a glimpse at our evolutionary past," Suddendorf said.

In a separate paper in ScienceExpress, the electronic version of Science, researchers report that scrub jays look over their shoulders when hiding food for future use and, if they think another bird saw where they put it, will relocate their cache.

The report by Nicola S. Clayton and colleagues at the University of Cambridge in England noted that relocating food was common when a bird thought it had been observed by a more dominant bird, but not when a partner was present.

The findings indicate that the birds act to avoid the possibility that a non-partner will raid their stored food, and remember who was around when they hid it, the researchers say.

___

On the Net:

Science: http://www.sciencemag.org

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press.

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Dingo667

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This should be merged with the animal testing thread...on second thoughts nah, wouldn't make any difference SIGH :roll:
 

morningstar667

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The Times May 29, 2006

Grandpa! Leave that chimp alone! Who knows what it might lead to?
Science Notebook by Anjana Ahuja
MUSCULAR PHYSIQUE? Check. Hairy chest? Check. Full set of teeth? Check. A love of the outdoors? Check. Communication skills? Mainly guffaws and grunts but, hey, that’s males for you. Check.

I’m afraid my imagination has run riot, inspired by a story in Nature suggesting that our human ancestors interbred with chimpanzee ancestors. It’s not quite as explosive as suggesting that human beings slept with chimps, but it isn’t far off. It would mean a two-legged human ancestor possibly having carnal relations with an ancient chimp that was still on all fours, and such fumblings resulting in fertile, human-chimp hybrids.
And here's the proof, although this ones ancestors had sexual relations with apes nearer our time:
George_Bush_missing_link.gif


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,20909-2201182,00.html
 

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Use Of Stone Hammers Sheds Light On Geographic Patterns Of Chimpanzee Tool Use

The chimps aren't chumps.
by Staff Writers
San Diego CA (SPX) Aug 22, 2006
In a finding that challenges a long-held belief regarding the cultural spread of tool use among chimpanzees, researchers report that chimpanzees in the Ebo forest, Cameroon, use stone hammers to crack open hard-shelled nuts to access the nutrient-rich seeds. The findings are significant because this nut-cracking behavior was previously known only in a distant chimpanzee population in extreme western Africa and was thought to be restricted by geographical boundaries that prevented cultural spread of the technique from animal to animal.
The findings, which involve the most endangered and least-understood subspecies of chimpanzee, are reported by Dr. Bethan Morgan and Ekwoge Abwe of the Zoological Society of San Diego's Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES) and appear in the August 22nd issue of the journal Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

Prior to this discovery, it was thought that chimpanzee nut-cracking behavior was confined to the region west of the N'Zo-Sassandra River in Cote d'Ivoire. Because there are no relevant ecological or genetic differences between populations on either side of this "information barrier," explain the researchers of the new study, the implication had been that nut-cracking is a behavioral tradition constrained in its spread by a physical barrier: It was absent to the east of the river because it had not been invented there.

The new finding that chimpanzees crack open nuts more than 1700 km east of the supposed barrier challenges this long-accepted model. According to the authors of the study, the discontinuous distribution of the nut-cracking behavior may indicate that the original "culture zone" was larger, and nut-cracking behavior has become extinct between the N'Zo-Sassandra and Ebo. Alternatively, it may indicate that nut-cracking has been invented on more than one occasion in widely separated populations.

This is one of the first reports of tool use for Pan troglodytes vellerosus, the most endangered and understudied chimpanzee subspecies. It highlights the necessity to preserve the rich array of cultures found across chimpanzee populations and communities, which represent our best model for understanding the evolution of hominid cultural diversity. As such, the new finding promises to both benefit research and inform the conservation of our closest living relative.


Chimp
 

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Chimpanzees Can Transmit Cultural Behavior To Multiple "generations"

Main Category: Psychology / Psychiatry News
Article Date: 31 Aug 2006 - 11:00am (PDT)


Transferring knowledge through a chain of generations is a behavior not exclusive to humans, according to new findings by researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. For the first time, researchers have shown chimpanzees exhibit generational learning behavior similar to that in humans. Unlike previous findings that indicated chimpanzees simply conform to the social norms of the group, this study shows behavior and traditions can be passed along a chain of individual chimpanzees. These findings, based upon behavioral data gathered at the Yerkes Field Station in Lawrenceville, Ga., published online in the August 28 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using a research design that simulated transmission over multiple generations, researchers Victoria Horner, PhD, of the University of St. Andrews and the Yerkes Research Center, along with Yerkes researcher Frans B.M. de Waal, PhD, and St. Andrews researcher Andrew Whiten, PhD, were able to more closely examine how chimpanzees learn from each other and the potential longevity of their culture. In doing so, they confirmed that a particular behavior can be transmitted accurately along a chain of up to six chimpanzees, representing six simulated generations equaling approximately 90 years of culture in the wild. A comparative benchmark study with three-year-old human children, conducted by St. Andrews researcher Emma Flynn, PhD, revealed similar results, providing further evidence chimpanzees, like humans, are creatures of culture.

In the study, researchers began by introducing a foraging technique to two chimpanzees, one each from two separate social groups, to train them to open a special testing box one of two ways - either by sliding or lifting the door - to reveal fruit inside. Chimpanzees in a third social group, used as the control group, were allowed to explore the testing box but were given no instruction or training to open the testing box. Once each individual animal from the first two social groups proved successful, another animal from the same social group was allowed to observe the process before interacting with the testing box. Once the second animal succeeded, another chimpanzee would enter and observe the technique, and so on down the chain. In the two social groups trained to slide or lift the door, the technique used by the original animal was passed to up to six chimpanzees. The chimpanzees in the control group were able to discover both methods through individual exploration, suggesting the exclusive use of a single technique in the non-control groups was due to behavioral transmission from a previous animal.

"The chimpanzees in this study continued using only the technique they observed rather than an alternative method," said Horner. "This finding is particularly remarkable considering the chimpanzees in the control group were able to discover both methods through individual exploration. Clearly, observing one exclusive technique from a previous chimpanzee was sufficient for transmission of behavior along multiple cultural generations."

This research may contribute to a better understanding of how chimpanzees learn complex behaviors in the wild. "By conducting controlled cultural experiments with captive chimpanzees, we are able to learn more about wild population-specific behavioral differences, thought to represent a form of cultural variation," said Horner. "These findings also show great similarity between human and chimpanzee behavior, suggesting cultural learning may be rooted deep within the evolutionary process." Further studies by researchers at the Yerkes-based Living Links Center, established in 1997 to facilitate primate studies that shed light on human behavioral evolution, may expand on these findings by examining the cognitive mechanisms involved in cultural learning and the generational transmission of behavior and traditions.

For more than seven decades, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University has been dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of primate biology, behavior, veterinary care and conservation, and to improving human health and well-being. Today, the center, as one of only eight National Institutes of Health-funded national primate research centers, provides specialized scientific resources, expertise and training opportunities. Recognized as a multidisciplinary research institute, the Yerkes Research Center is making landmark discoveries in the fields of microbiology and immunology, neuroscience, psychobiology and sensory-motor systems. Research programs are seeking ways to: develop vaccines for AIDS and malaria; treat cocaine addiction; interpret brain activity through imaging; increase understanding of progressive illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimers; unlock the secrets of memory; determine behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy; address vision disorders; and advance knowledge about the evolutionary links between biology and behavior.

###

Note: Additional resources for readers include:
http://www.emory.edu/LIVING_LINKS
Ape and human evolution information

Photos and video are available upon request.

Contact: Stephanie McNicoll
Emory University Health Sciences Center
http://www.whsc.emory.edu/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medical ... wsid=50772
 

kinnikinick999

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Study uncovers 'chimp cross code'


Experts studying chimpanzees while investigating the evolution of human social behaviour have uncovered their ability to safely cross roads.
They said the discovery has shown chimps' ability to cope with the risk of man-made situations.

The University of Stirling research was carried out with a small chimp community in West Africa.

It found the dominant adult males took up protective positions in the group when it was tasked with crossing roads.

The study at Bossou, Guinea observed the chimpanzees crossing two roads - one large and busy with traffic and the other smaller and used mostly by pedestrians.

The less fearful and physically larger adult males took up forward and rear positions, with the adult females and young occupying the protected middle space.

The study has built on prior research showing that adult male monkeys took similar action to reduce the risk of being attacked by predators when travelling towards potentially unsafe areas, such as waterholes.

Kimberley Hockings, who worked on the study, said: "Road-crossing, a human-created challenge, presents a new situation that calls for flexibility of responses by chimpanzees to variations in perceived risk, helping to improve our understanding about the evolution of human social organisation.

"Dominant individuals act cooperatively with a high level of flexibility to maximise group protection."

The findings have been published in the scientific journal Current Biology.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tay ... 315164.stm
 

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Anyone see Danny Wallace and the chimps on Horizon, BBC2 tonight? Fun programme, and I'm sure Danny thoroughly enjoyed himself, but it was unconvincing in awarding chimps "people" status, and after watching this I'm not sure if succeeding in having chimps regarded as "people too" is entirely constructive. Not very scientific for a science programme.
 
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gncxx said:
Anyone see Danny Wallace and the chimps on Horizon, BBC2 tonight? Fun programme, and I'm sure Danny thoroughly enjoyed himself, but it was unconvincing in awarding chimps "people" status, and after watching this I'm not sure if succeeding in having chimps regarded as "people too" is entirely constructive. Not very scientific for a science programme.


You mean this? (found posted in ForteanTimes Breaking News)

Yes and no

At the Yerkes Primate Centre in Atlanta, Danny finds out from researcher Victoria Horner that chimps have culture...

Victoria: "This experiment is the first definite evidence that chimpanzees can pass on ideas to each other. That is the basis of culture."

Danny: "So, are they people then?"

Victoria: "No."

In Budongo National Park, Uganda. Katie Slocombe from St Andrews University is studying vocalisations with wild chimps...

Katie: "Chimps produce an incredibly wide range of sounds. It appears that they may have a rudimentary language."

Danny: "So, are they people then?

Katie: "No"

Alicia Melis of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig conducts experiments to see if chimps have a quintessential human character, one that was thought to be absent till now: co-operation...

Alicia: "Chimps can co-operate, they can even chose the best co-operator to help them when presented with a range of their mates."

Danny: "...they co-operate, they're people?

Alicia: "Sort of!"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6036281.stm


Sort of implies that whilst they can be trained to show all the characteristics of people and whilst they also show some of the charactaristics of people in the wild (culture, learning, sharing knowledge and language) - they are still not classed as people.

The only difference really between them and us is that - it is them and us.

Chimpanzees don't make cars, buildings, sky scrapers etc.
 

Jerry_B

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Horizon has always been something with a bit more meat to it's content and style. This latest episode didn't seem to be on that sort of level. And it still seemed to say more about Wallace more than anything else IMHO. I still think chimps are chimps - uniquely so too - and fail to see the point of trying to shoehorn them into things which look like things we have as human beings. Yes, chimps have a type of language, a type of culture, etc. - but's it chimp language/culture/etc.. Valid within that remit, but not anything else. Saying that they're almost like us seems to be saying that we're inviting them to join our exclusive club - which effectively is an attempt to make them like us, and not acknowledge that they're fine without having to belong to our club.
 

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coldelephant said:
Sort of implies that whilst they can be trained to show all the characteristics of people and whilst they also show some of the charactaristics of people in the wild (culture, learning, sharing knowledge and language) - they are still not classed as people.

That was the gist if it, yes. I was hoping for a real life version of that episode of The Lone Gunmen, but it was more like a light documentary from the eighties, The Show Me Show or something..

The only difference really between them and us is that - it is them and us.

Chimpanzees don't make cars, buildings, sky scrapers etc.

Neither do I and I'm not a chimpanzee. Or am I? :confused:
 

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Jerry_B said:
Horizon has always been something with a bit more meat to it's content and style. This latest episode didn't seem to be on that sort of level. And it still seemed to say more about Wallace more than anything else IMHO. I still think chimps are chimps - uniquely so too - and fail to see the point of trying to shoehorn them into things which look like things we have as human beings. Yes, chimps have a type of language, a type of culture, etc. - but's it chimp language/culture/etc.. Valid within that remit, but not anything else. Saying that they're almost like us seems to be saying that we're inviting them to join our exclusive club - which effectively is an attempt to make them like us, and not acknowledge that they're fine without having to belong to our club.

There did seem to be a conservation agenda, like a "Look! They're almost human!" way of inviting us to look after them more. If they were awarded people status, then we would have no excuses about locking them up to experiment on them, I would say.
 

Jerry_B

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Well - I dunno about an agenda as such. Just some sort of misty-eyed take on things, more than anything else. The programme was really too sketchy to pin anything hardcore to it in terms of agendas, IMHO.
 
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Jerry_B said:
Horizon has always been something with a bit more meat to it's content and style. This latest episode didn't seem to be on that sort of level. And it still seemed to say more about Wallace more than anything else IMHO. I still think chimps are chimps - uniquely so too - and fail to see the point of trying to shoehorn them into things which look like things we have as human beings. Yes, chimps have a type of language, a type of culture, etc. - but's it chimp language/culture/etc.. Valid within that remit, but not anything else. Saying that they're almost like us seems to be saying that we're inviting them to join our exclusive club - which effectively is an attempt to make them like us, and not acknowledge that they're fine without having to belong to our club.


I agree with the idea that chimps are not to be anthropomorphosised or however you spell the word - and that chimps are not humans.

Trying to make chimps look like humans is silly - because they are not, doesn't matter how intelligent, creative or cultured they are.

Clearly we are different from them and this will always be so.

However - I disagree with the idea that such a notion should disuade people from finding out about such things and interacting with animals on their level.

Humans will not be around for much longer IMO - so we may as well make the most out of life and find as much about it as we can.

;)
 

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Horizon has always been something with a bit more meat to it's content and style. This latest episode didn't seem to be on that sort of level. And it still seemed to say more about Wallace more than anything else IMHO

Couldn't agree more. I watched most of the stuff he has done for sky and i found him to be just to cynical. It certainly was the weirdest Horizon i have every seen, and not because of the programmes contents more so because of his presenting style. I couldn't quite get the idea out of my head that i was watching BBC2 and not Sky 1.
Though in his defence he really did genuinely seem to undergo a sort of conversion as the programme went on. I'm not saying he believes that chimps are people but that at the start of the programme he didn't give the impression that he cared either about the chimps or the Question but by the end of the programme he did seem to have a new genuine respect and awe for them.
 

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Yeah, if you've seen Wallace's other programmes, like the one about starting his own country, then you'll recognise his style. There was even an advertising agency involved, again. It might have been better if it hadn't been produced under the Horizon banner.
 

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Chimpanzees 'hunt using spears'

Chimpanzees in Senegal have been observed making and using wooden spears to hunt other primates, according to a study in the journal Current Biology.
Researchers documented 22 cases of chimps fashioning tools to jab at smaller primates sheltering in cavities of hollow branches or tree trunks.

The report's authors, Jill Pruetz and Paco Bertolani, said the finding could have implications for human evolution.

Chimps had not been previously observed hunting other animals with tools.

Pruetz and Bertolani made the discovery at their research site in Fongoli, Senegal, between March 2005 and July 2006.

"There were hints that this behavior might occur, but it was one time at a different site," said Jill Pruetz, assistant professor of anthropology at Iowa State University, US.

"While in Senegal for the spring semester, I saw about 13 different hunting bouts. So it really is habitual."

Jabbing weapon

Chimpanzees were observed jabbing the spears into hollow trunks or branches, over and over again. After the chimp removed the tool, it would frequently smell or lick it.

In the vast majority of cases, the chimps used the tools in the manner of a spear, not as probes. The researchers say they were using enough force to injure an animal that may have been hiding inside.

However, they did not photograph the behaviour, or capture it on film.

In one case, Pruetz and Bertolani, , from the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies in Cambridge, UK, witnessed a chimpanzee extract a bushbaby with a spear.

In most cases, the Fongoli chimpanzees carried out four or more steps to manufacture spears for hunting.

In all but one of the cases, chimps broke off a living branch to make their tool. They would then trim the side branches and leaves.

In a number of cases, chimps also trimmed the ends of the branch and stripped it of bark. Some chimps also sharpened the tip of the tool with their teeth.

Female lead

Adult males have long been regarded as the hunters in chimp groups.

But the authors of the paper in Current Biology said females, particularly adolescent females, and young chimps in general were seen exhibiting this behaviour more frequently than adult males.

"It's classic in primates that when there is a new innovation, particularly in terms of tool use, the younger generations pick it up very quickly. The last ones to pick up are adults, mainly the males", said Dr Pruetz, who led the National Geographic-funded project.

This is because young chimps pick the skill up from their mothers, with whom they spend a lot of their time.

"It's a niche that males seem to ignore," Dr Pruetz told BBC News.

Many areas where chimpanzees live are also home to red colobus monkey, which the chimps hunt. However, the Senegal site is lacking in this species, so chimps may have needed to adopt a new hunting strategy to catch a different prey - bushbaby.

The authors conclude that their findings support a theory that females may have played a similarly important role in the evolution of tool technology among early humans.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6387611.stm
 

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So, everybody, let's just be nice to the chimpanzees. Lest they work out why their endangered.
 
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