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Scientists study orangutan gestures and body language

Scientists have identified more than 40 gestures used by orangutans to communicate.

To initiate play, for example, the apes used gestures including back rolls and blowing rasberries, while, quite familiarly "nudge and 'shoo' movements meant an ape wanted to be left alone."

Two scientists from the University of St Andrews in Scotland observed 28 orangutans at Twycross Zoo in the UK, Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands, and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey.

Thanks, Nat Geo!

National Geographic posted this video of a chimp baby in Tanzania doing what "kids" do best -- playing!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

What was Known?

What was known about chimpanzees when Jane Goodall stepped off that boat to begin her study of the wild chimp communities living in Tanzanian forest around one of the world's longest, largest and deepest freshwater lakes, (Lake Tanganyika)?

Have a look: samples of Jane's insect photos

Since Jane is on a perpetual global speaking tour and traveling more than 300 days per year, she gets to places few of us have seen. Jane loves taking photos and thought you would enjoy seeing some of her more unusual snapshots.

A Look Back at Jane's Amazing Story

On July 14, 2010, it will be 50 years to the day that Jane Goodall first stepped out of a game warden’s boat onto the pebbly beach at the Gombe Chimpanzee Reserve in what is today Tanzania. At the time, she expected to be in the forest observing wild chimpanzees for 3 or 4 months.

Climate Change Figured in Ancient Apes' Disappearance

A new study reports that great apes were wiped out in ancient Europe when climate and environmental changes replaced forests with grasslands. The change meant monkeys thrived but great apes did not. "Ancient relatives of modern orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and gibbons were able to survive in Asia and Africa, where those changes were not as drastic," reports the BBC.

A Bonobo 'No'

It's a scenario you'll recognize. A Mom's firm "no," via shade of the head, to her toddler, who is getting into something he or she shouldn't.

Scientists studying great ape infant behavior witnessed 4 bonobos shaking their heads in ways that appeared to mean "no" on 13 different occasions. The observation raises the question: Is the "no" head shake hard-coded in humans?

BBC Earth  News has the video.

 

Bonobos are just wonderful

If you did not know that bonobos are matriarchal and use sex to maintain harmony, you'll want to read this introduction to bonobos from Live Science and primatologist Brian Hare. He has done several studies at our sanctuary for orphaned chimpanzees, the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo.

You can help chimpanzees in labs

Did you know there is some exciting momentum around the issue of chimpanzees used in invasive research?

Best estimates are that more than 1,000 chimpanzees are in labs in the U.S., either being used for painful and terrifying experiments or being warehoused in case they are wanted. One chimpanzee named Karen was taken from the wild as an infant and kept in a lab for more than 50 years.

 If you care to learn about this issue and spread the word, here are some other facts to pocket:

Photos of the top 25 most endangered primates

In case you missed it, a report in February listed the top 25 most endangered primate species. They include great apes, the Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) and Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii), both of whose numbers are in the hundreds.

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Walk in the footsteps of Jane Goodall with Google Maps

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Saving Chimps From Snares (Graphic Images)!

This is the story of Mugu Moja, a young juvenile chimpanzee.