Decoding of Tarsier Genome Reveals Ties to Humans

Small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, with enormous eyes and an appetite for meat, tarsiers are an anomaly of nature. They are also our distant cousins, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who recently sequenced and analyzed the tarsier genome. The findings, published Oct. 6 in Nature Communications, place tarsiers on…

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Orangutan Gives Clues To The Origins Of Human Speech

An orangutan called Rocky could provide the key to understanding how speech in humans evolved from the time of the ancestral great apes, according to a study led by Dr Adriano Lameira of Durham University and published in the journal Scientific Reports. Previously it was thought that great apes, our closest evolutionary relatives, could not learn to produce new sounds.…

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This Species Of Brazilian Monkey Has Been Using Stones As Tools For 700 Years

Breaking into a cashew nut can be difficult; but not if you’re a monkey. Primates in Brazil are well honed in using stones to break into the nuts and new research suggests they have been doing so for more than 700 years. Archaeologists have discovered that more than 100 generations of capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidinosus) have used stones as hammers…

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Linguists Team Up With Primatologists to Crack the Meaning of Monkey Calls

It has long been known that monkeys convey information through alarm calls, but now a combined team of linguists and primatologists has laid the groundwork for a systematic ‘primate linguistics.’ In a series of five articles published in multiple linguistics journals, the authors have brought the general methods of contemporary linguistics to bear on monkey morphology (pertaining to the structure…

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UW-Madison Zika Research in Monkeys Could Inform Outbreak in People

Monkeys infected with Zika virus are protected from future infection, and pregnancy dramatically prolongs infection in monkeys, findings that could help in fighting the virus in people, UW-Madison researchers said Tuesday. Scientists on campus have infected 13 rhesus macaque monkeys with Zika, a virus that has caused an outbreak involving severe birth defects such as brain damage in Latin America…

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