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mega-culture

A huge "yet mysterious" chimpanzee 'mega-culture' discovered in remote Congo - a community of perhaps tens of thousands of individuals with its own unique customs and behaviors, the Guardian reports. Observed unique behaviors include feasting on leopards and using tools to harvest giant African snails. See earlier report "The giant lion-eating chimps of the magic forest" and new camera trap videos and survey results. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Feb 8, 2014 - 29 comments

 

Best of Breed Solution

Are human beings the descendants of chimpanzee/pig hybrids? This radical theory might seem easy to disprove, but "decent arguments against the hybrid origins theory are surprisingly hard to find."
posted by chrchr on Jul 25, 2013 - 134 comments

Our pet chimpanzee ruined my life, claims stepdaughter of French singer

"Soon, however, with the strength of eight men, Pépée became an uncontrollable tyrant who would strip guests – including once a government prefect and wife – of their clothes and valuables, bite others who failed to accede to its whims and once stole a baby, which it took to the roof despite Leo waving a toy pistol at it and shouting: "Daddy's not happy. Daddy's going to shoot."
posted by unSane on May 22, 2013 - 40 comments

In a rainforest in Gabon there lives a camera trap. And a mirror?

a herd of elephants cross a stream ... audacity of the mandrills ... panthers play with their reflection in a mirror ... a passing group of gorillas ... 52 red river hogs eat fruit ... a leopard falls in love with the camera trap ... a sitatunga frightens some ibises while crossing a stream ... two elephants fighting ... chimpanzees attack a mirror ... a slithering Gaboon Viper ... a family of elephants on the trail ... 15 animals at the same place, close to camp
posted by ChuraChura on Feb 9, 2013 - 13 comments

S'more primate fun

He was taught to use matches, a skill he picked up quickly. There’s something eerie about watching Kanzi strike a match. The way he then holds the flame — taking care not to burn himself — is remarkably human. (video)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 31, 2011 - 42 comments

Long Live Cheeta

News organizations from around the world are reporting on the death of Cheetah-Mike, the chimp who purportedly played Cheeta, the companion to Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan from the MGM and RKO film series of the 30s and 40s. If this is one of the original film Cheetas, it would make Cheetah-Mike, at 80, the longest-lived captive chimp on record. But there’s reason to doubt he’s both that old and was in the films with Weissmuller. First, because this is significantly longer than chimps usually live, and second because this has happened once before.
posted by Toekneesan on Dec 28, 2011 - 34 comments

Poop-throwing by chimpanzees is a sign of intelligence

Studies have shown that chimps are capable of insightful reasoning and nuanced communication. Apparently, the individuals that are the smartest are also the most adept at slinging their own poo.
posted by Laminda on Nov 30, 2011 - 34 comments

Hello Cockie! Whose a pretty bird?

The cockatoos are talking, and they're borrowing our words. Wild cockatoos, native to Australia, have been heard to utter English phrases. Escaped or freed pet birds pass phrases to others as they move up the hierarchy of their flock, as explained in an 8 minute news clip (MP3 linked in the page) featuring an interview with Martyn Robinson at the Australian Museum. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 15, 2011 - 83 comments

Challenging Chompsky

In the late Sixties and early Seventies several experiments were begun to test whether or not a non-human primate could construct a sentence. Several species were involved in these various experiments including the chimpanzees Washoe and Nim, a gorilla named Koko, and later in the Eighties work began with a bonobo named Kanzi. While great progress was made in teaching these primates a vocabulary, it would be difficult to see any of these experiments as a success. And all of these projects raised important questions about the ethics of such experiments. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Aug 20, 2011 - 39 comments

Jane Goodness

National Geographic has digitized all of Jane Goodall's articles for the publication from the past five decades. They've also added a galley of photographs documenting her extraordinary work with chimps.
posted by gman on Sep 16, 2010 - 12 comments

Monkey Business

Monkey Business: four short films (about three minutes each) by Matthew Killip, about people who work with monkeys and apes. India: Rhesus Macaques as pests; USA: Chimpanzee as research subject; Nigeria: baboons as entertainers; Indonesia: macaque as harvester.
posted by Greg Nog on Sep 2, 2010 - 11 comments

Monkey see, monkey dead

Chimpanzees mourn, freak out, and even lose sleep over a relative's death. Includes footage. Also, lol.
posted by DZack on Apr 28, 2010 - 65 comments

It's gotta be better than Charlie's Angels

Movie made by chimpanzees to be broadcast on television. [more inside]
posted by billysumday on Jan 25, 2010 - 37 comments

Animal Grief

Grief among gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, and magpies.
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 30, 2009 - 65 comments

Everyone needs a hug.

In which a chimpanzee is shown reacting to sleight-of-hand on a Japanese television show. [SLYT. Overuse of sound effects.]
posted by Liver on Aug 24, 2009 - 104 comments

That lady sure looks surprised!

Chimpanzee Riding A Segway + Soccer Ball (In The Face) + Boogie Boogie Hedgehog + Hamster On A Piano (Eating Popcorn) = Videos in the key of Parry Gripp (of Nerf Herder fame).
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] on Nov 4, 2008 - 22 comments

Monkeys fish.

Scientists find monkeys who know how to fish. Apparently, they're not the first. Although they might be the first to do so without tools. I, for one, want some sashimi.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal on Jun 10, 2008 - 23 comments

Exiled from his Eden

[He] kept his one copy of this book safe,... under his sleeping area so that no one could destroy it. He would just look at pictures of his New York City family, and himself, over and over again.
Elizabeth Hess discusses Nim, the subject of her book Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human. Also: the Great Ape Project's Declaration on Great Apes; Richard Dawkins's "Gaps in the Mind."
posted by orthogonality on Mar 31, 2008 - 32 comments

The chimp sat on its haunches, making "ook-ook" noises, while Gordon circled, his gloves held high.

Lucius Shepard has a terrible website, but he tells good stories. For example, his friend Gordon once fought with a chimpanzee. (Cecil Adams said such a fight would be unwise.)
posted by cgc373 on Dec 19, 2007 - 28 comments

Chimpanzee Memory

Working memory of numerals in chimpanzees. Are you smarter than a chimpanzee?
posted by homunculus on Dec 3, 2007 - 41 comments

Ghosts in the machine

A chimpanzee plays Ms. Pac Man (WMV, some Japanese)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 25, 2007 - 29 comments

I'm a cold Italian pizza / I could use a lemon squeezer

Bonobo chimpanzees are commonly thought to be "an example of amicability, sensitivity and, well, humaneness" in the animal kingdom. Ian Parker's Swingers suggests a darker, more savage side to the species that belies popular perception.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 3, 2007 - 20 comments

Giant, lion eating chimps not mythical after all

There is a remote part of the Congolese jungle, called the Bili forest, where local legend has long told of a breed of giant apes that eat lions, catch fish and howl at the moon. To his surprise Dutch researcher Cleve Hicks found them. In fact they are large chimps but they appear to have a number of behavioural differences from other groups seen in the wild. (More information from Wikipedia).
posted by rongorongo on Jul 16, 2007 - 33 comments

Chimps in caves with weapons

Common chimps like early humans
posted by Listener on Apr 22, 2007 - 18 comments

Winthrop Kellogg

Winthop Kellogg was a psychologist in the early and mid-20th century who studied echolocation in animals and people. He is most notorious, however, for an experiment in which he raised an infant chimpanzee named Gua alongside his own baby son Harold. They seemed to get along pretty well (.mov).
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 2, 2006 - 8 comments

Best Friend of the King of the Apes

He's 74-years-old, which makes him the world's oldest primate. He was a movie star. He lives a comfortable life as an older retiree. In his spare time, he paints. In fact, if you like, he will paint a painting just for you, and the money you donate for it supports his primate sanctuary. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Cheeta.
posted by Astro Zombie on Sep 5, 2006 - 37 comments

Animal burglary

Animal burglary a new form of crime? Imagine waking up to see a chimpanzee nicking your cellphone...
posted by zia on Jun 10, 2002 - 12 comments

Uncanny.

Uncanny. [Ok, so no one will grouse about lack of explanation, let's just say the link provided explores certain physical similarities between our president-elect and the common chimpanzee...aw, it would've been funnier without the explanation, but rules is rules]
posted by chartres on Jan 4, 2001 - 1 comment

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