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A Triumph for Chimpanzees

The National Institute of Health, the largest funder of medical research in the United States, has announced that they will finally stop using chimpanzees in laboratory experiments.  The primates are retiring from all United States government research.  This is a huge triumph for anti-vivisectionists and chimpanzees everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The head of the National Institute of Health (NIH) said its decision to retire more than three hundred chimpanzees from research would help usher in a “compassionate era” of scientific research.  NIH director, Dr Francis Collins, said that chimpanzees, as man’s closest relative in the animal kingdom, “deserve special respect.  These amazing animals have taught us a great deal already,” he said, as he announced the policy change at the end of June.

 

The use of chimpanzees in biomedical research has been on the decline for some time, but for activists seeking to end the practice, the NIH decision is still a “game-changer”.

 

Happy Monkday :_)

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23322774

Geladas Show Striking Similarities with Human Speech

Friendly lip-smacking, made by a large African monkey called a gelada show striking similarities with human speech, say scientists from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, US, published today in the journal Current Biology.

Geladas, close cousins of the baboon that only live in the remote mountains of Ethiopia, produce ‘unnerving’ sounds that can easily be mistaken for human voices.

The gelada is also known as the "bleeding heart baboon"

They believe the evidence points to lip-smacking- a friendly behavior displayed by many primates- being an evolutionary step towards speech.

“Our finding provides support for the lip-smacking origins of speech because it shows that this evolutionary pathway is plausible,” said lead scientist Prof Thore Bergman, “it demonstrates that non-human primates can vocalize while lip-smacking to produce speech-like sounds.”

Prof Bergman became fascinated by the geladas’ sounds while observing the monkeys in 2006.

“I would find myself frequently looking over my shoulder to see who was talking to me, but it was just the geladas.  It was unnerving to have primate vocalizations sound so much like human voices,” he said.

The new research showed that the rhythm of gelada lip-smacking closely mirrored the gaps between syllables in many human languages.  Some other primates such as apes and monkeys produce complex sounds, but Bergman says they don’t have the speech-like rhythm that geladas have.

I had never even heard of a gelada until today.  How fascinating.

Meet the Peruvian Night Monkey

The Peruvian night monkey (Aotus miconax) is one of the world’s least known primates, having never been studied in the wild; until now. Found only in the cloud forests of northern Peru, a group of scientists with Neotropical Primate Conservation and the National University of Mayor San Marcos have spent 12 months following a single group of this enigmatic monkey species in a small forest patch. The results of their research, published in mongabay.com’s open access journal, Tropical Conservation Science, shows that protecting forests, even small forest fragments, is vital to the species’ survival.

The researchers found that the species is capable of surviving in highly-fragmented forests, which is helpful to the monkeys living in agricultural and populated regions of Peru.  A studied family of six occupied a single forest fragment only three-and-a-half acres large.  There are currently eleven night monkey species known in South America, which make up the Aotus genus.  They are the world’s only truly nocturnal monkeys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monkday :-)

Baby Monkey Rescued in Colombia

 

Abandoned by it’s mother, this squeetastic baby night monkey was thankfully rescued by biologists from a wildlife center in Colombia.  Now one of them has taken on the role of surrogate mother to the cute little primate, and so they must be together all the time… as in twenty-four hours a day.

 

Happy Monkday :-)

Monkey & Cat Find Love in Malaysia

 

A man who works at an animal shelter in Malaysia, was closing up one night, and noticed that one of the cats and one of the monkeys had formed a special bond with each other.  He thought, as I do, that that was pretty special.

 

This video may seem long at 3:47, but it’s set to Chopin’s Nocturne for piano No. 2 in E flat major, which is definitely worth a listen… maybe two.

 

Happy Monkday :-)

Monkey Birth for the Sacramento Zoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A species of African monkey little observed in captivity or the wild was born at the Sacramento Zoo in Sacramento, California over the weekend.

The arrival of the Wolf’s Guenon monkey was the first infant of Mimi, born at the San Diego Zoo in 2007, and Eddie, born at the San Antonio Zoo in 1995.  Both were welcomed to the Sacramento Zoo in the Fall.

 

Wolf’s guenons live in trees south of Africa’s Congo River.  The species was named after the person who first described it for science.  They’re rather serious looking but are quite social, and they feed on insects and fruit.

 

“Little is known about Wolf’s Guenons because of their small population in zoos. In the wild, the dense forests in which they live make them hard to spot,” said Harrison Edell, Sacramento Zoo General Curator. “This birth is significant to the Sacramento Zoo; with every birth, we learn more about this species’ biology, contributing to our overall knowledge about this species.”

 

 

Happy Monkday :-)

Beatboxin’ Monkey

You’re my hero, Beatboxin’ Monkey, you get that stuck-up dance troupe. ;-D

 

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t speak cute LOLspeak, here’s a translation:

The tap dance troupe really did look to be the sure-fire talent show winners… until the beatboxing monkey joined in the last minute and overtook them all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monkday :-)

Colobus Monkeys Go Ape for Christmas

Primate keepers at the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near the town of Hythe in Kent, England, got into the festive spirit when they decided to treat the black and white colobus monkeys to early Christmas presents stuffed with seasonal treats.  They’re cute, comical, and heartwarming.

 

Happy Monkday and Merry Christmas Eve :-)

Meet Pete the Monkey

Pete the Monkey, who lives in a monkey sanctuary in El Chapar, Bolivia, has become a cult figure of sorts in the ape world.  He first shot to fame when a YouTube video of him washing the dishes became an international web sensation a few years ago.

The video was so popular, that the folks who shot the video created a unique project to fund the rescue and rehabilitation of capuchin monkeys like Pete by letting interested parties sponsor their viral videos.  For every 1000 pounds they raise, they will release a new monkey video.

 

Well, the second video has just been released.

Cute lil’ guy, ain’t he… ^_^ Happy Monkday

 

http://petethemonkey.com/home.html