Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

Texas Has a Problem Primate —and a Giant Mystery

Unconfirmed run-ins with an ornery chimp, monkey, or other creature reported in Texas

(Newser) - No one knows where it came from, how it got out, or even for sure what it is (or if it is)—but an animal said to be on the loose in Texas is causing a ruckus. The New York Times perfectly explains the current confusion in the Lone Star... More »

Koko, the Gorilla Who Knew Sign Language, Dies at 46

She captivated the world with her ability to communicate

(Newser) - Koko, the beloved gorilla who captivated many with her ability to communicate through sign language, has died at age 46. The western lowland gorilla died in her sleep Tuesday morning, NPR reports. Born at the San Francisco Zoo on July 4 , 1971, Koko was chosen as an infant to work... More »

That Bonobo That Likes You? It Really Thinks You're a Jerk

Scientists say this ape species appears to prefer 'hinderers' to 'helpers'

(Newser) - Scientists have long wondered about the "prosocial" activity of bonobos, noting how the apes appear to be more sharing and cooperative than other primates such as chimps, per the Los Angeles Times . But humans may still have them beat after a new study out of Duke University suggests bonobos... More »

Study Claims Discovery of New, Highly Endangered Great Ape

It's a frizzy-haired, smaller-headed orangutan

(Newser) - A remote population of frizzy-haired orangutans on the Indonesian island of Sumatra seems to be a new species of primate, scientists say. But the newest member of the family tree of advanced animals that include humans may not be around much longer, the AP reports. Their numbers are so small,... More »

Another Hurricane Maria Victim: Monkey Island

It's one of the world's most important sites for primate research

(Newser) - As thousands of troops and government workers struggle to restore normal life to Puerto Rico, a small group of scientists is racing to save more than 1,000 monkeys whose brains may contain clues to some of the most important mysteries of the human mind. One of the first places... More »

This Is the Longest-Nursing of Any Primate

Orangutans set a record, researchers find

(Newser) - Orangutans nurse their young for up to eight years or longer, a new study finds—a record for primates. As National Geographic notes, it's difficult to study orangutans in the wild since they're so often out of sight in trees, but it's important for conservationists to know... More »

Apes May Be Able to 'Read Minds'

And know if humans are harboring false beliefs

(Newser) - Now even the great apes are getting in on debunking "fake news"—or, to be more specific, fake beliefs. German researchers have found that the primates can tell when a human is wrong about something, and can even help to remedy the situation, which in this case was... More »

Fruit May Be the Key to Primates' Big Brains

Study finds link between brain size in primates and those who eat fruit

(Newser) - An apple a day can keep the doctor away, but that's nothing compared to what it can do for primates, at least according to a study published Monday in Nature Ecology & Evolution . Scientists have long hypothesized that primates evolved large brains because they needed them for complex social... More »

Primate Study Finds It's 'Worse Than We Thought'

75% are in decline, 60% at risk of extinction

(Newser) - "It's worse than we thought 10 years ago," a researcher says following a "landmark" study on the world's primates that found many could go extinct in the next 50 years. Primatologists studied every primate species—all 504 of them—and found 75% are in decline,... More »

Scientists Have Made Paralyzed Monkeys Walk

'The whole team was screaming as we watched'

(Newser) - In what could someday prove to be a major step forward for people with spinal cord injuries, scientists out of Switzerland are reporting in the journal Nature that they've gotten paralyzed monkeys to walk again. NPR describes the surgery on the rhesus macaques thusly: A neurosurgeon "placed electrodes... More »

Study Finds Humans Are Really Good at Sleeping

We may have evolved to sleep less and deeper than our primate ancestors

(Newser) - Ever wonder why your cat sleeps all day while you're stuck with the measly seven hours you can cram in between Scandal and your morning commute? As it turns out, you're just way better at sleeping than your furry friend. According to a study in Evolutionary Anthropology, humans... More »

Your Dog Forgot the Hug You Just Gave Him

Study finds animals have short short-term memory spans

(Newser) - When it comes to short-term memory, animals have very short ones indeed. A new meta-analysis examined more than 90 memory experiments carried out on 25 species encompassing birds, mammals, and bees. Researchers at Stockholm University and Brooklyn College found that for dogs, events are forgotten after about two minutes—and... More »

For Monkeys, Love Means Chucking Rocks

Female capuchins have a rather painful way of signaling mates

(Newser) - Good news for male capuchin monkeys wondering why females are always throwing rocks at them: They're actually attracted to you (the bad news probably goes unsaid here). Researchers studying the sex lives of monkeys in Brazil's Serra de Capivara national park found that amorous female capuchins whine and... More »

Humans Became Monogamous to Stop Infanticide

Study finds the origins of monogamy are not so romantic

(Newser) - Scientists believe they may have discovered the reason most humans, at least in theory, are so wedded to the idea of monogamy, and the answer ain't "true love." As a species, we became predominantly monogamous so other humans wouldn't kill our babies, according to a new... More »

Oldest Primate Fossil Found

Tiny creature from 55M years ago discovered in ancient Chinese lake

(Newser) - A tiny, funny-looking creature that scampered around what is now China some 55 million years ago might help rewrite the book on primates, reports the BBC . Scientists have concluded that little Archicebus achilles—it weighed about an ounce and was maybe 8 inches long—is the world's oldest primate... More »

Baboons' Lip-Smacking: Precursor to Speech?

Geladas of Ethiopia smack their lips to make human-like sound

(Newser) - Might this be a hint of how human speech came to be? Researchers at the University of Michigan say wild monkeys of Ethiopia known as geladas smack their lips together and make gutteral noises to produce a sound like our speech, reports PBS . The pattern of these "wobbles" follows... More »

HIV's Origins Stretch Back Millions of Years

Earlier work suggested HIV 'cousins' were much more recent

(Newser) - "Cousins" of the HIV virus are millions of years old—not tens of thousands, as previous research has suggested, according to a new study. Researchers in Seattle examined HIV-like viruses in a range of primates. Genetic changes in monkey and ape immune systems point to the development of such... More »

New Monkey Species Found

'Lesula' found in remote Congo jungle

(Newser) - A remote jungle in the Congo has yielded a new species of monkey, the first to be found in almost 30 years. Scientists discovered the lesula in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Lomami forest basin after spotting an unusual monkey being kept as a pet in a small forest... More »

Smugglers Busted With Primates in Their Skivvies

Lorises headed to Dubai from Bangkok

(Newser) - Is that a slender loris in your pants, or are you just happy to see me? In this case, it was the former: Three United Arab Emirates men headed to Dubai from Bangkok were caught with small primates in their underwear. Two were carrying mammals called slender lorises, Sri Lanka... More »

DC Zoo Animals Sensed Quake

Apes starting climbing seconds before ground started shaking

(Newser) - In a mysterious phenomenon that has been observed since ancient times, animals at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, appear to have sensed Tuesday's earthquake before humans did. Seconds before the ground began to shake, gorillas and orangutans dropped their food, grabbed their young, and climbed as high as... More »

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>