Tag: gorillas

Rare Footage of Endangered Gorillas Includes Chest-Pounding Silverback

By Veronique Greenwood | May 8, 2012 5:53 pm

The Cross River gorillas are an elusive bunch: there are fewer 250 individuals left of this western gorilla subspecies, and, understandably, they are afraid of humans. A few hours ago, though, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced that they’d managed to capture a tape of 8 gorillas—about 3% of the remaining population—in their native Cameroonian habitat, by using a motion-activated camera.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World

Malaria Came From Gorillas to Humans, and From Humans to Bonobos

By Andrew Moseman | September 23, 2010 12:40 pm

GorillaFrom Ed Yong:

Several million years ago, Plasmodium falciparum – the parasite that causes most cases of human malaria – jumped into humans from other apes. We’ve known as much for decades but for all this time, we’ve pinned the blame on the wrong species. A new study reveals that malaria is not, as previously thought, a disease that came from chimpanzees; instead it’s an unwanted gift from gorillas.

Until now, the idea of chimps as the source of human malaria seemed like a done deal.

Check out the rest of this post at DISCOVER blog Not Exactly Rocket Science.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine

Why Gorillas Play Tag: To Learn Social Etiquette and to Settle Scores

By Andrew Moseman | July 14, 2010 9:51 am

There may be no game simpler than tag. To play, you need nothing but a few friends and some energy. In fact, tag is so easy to play that it reaches other primate species: Gorillas like to play, too.

Marina Davila Ross and colleagues spent three years watching and filming gorilla colonies at Germany and Swiss zoos for a study now out in Biology Letters. They shot footage of 21 different young gorillas goofing around in a game that resembles human children playing tag.

Like human tag, one gorilla runs up to another and taps, hits, or outright punches the second. The hitter then usually runs away, attempting to avoid being hit back. Davila Ross and her colleagues also noticed that, like kids, the gorillas would reverse roles, so sometimes the first hitter would be the tagger, and vice versa. All African great apes appear to play tag, and younger apes play it much more often than their elders. Tree-dwelling orangutans likely also play a similar game, but not on the ground, according to Davila Ross [Discovery News].

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World

New Threat to Primates Worldwide: Being "Eaten Into Extinction"

By Eliza Strickland | August 5, 2008 1:33 pm

monkey mom and babyAn ambitious study of all the primates on planet Earth has found that almost half of all species are threatened by extinction because of habitat loss and poaching. The latest Red List of Threatened Species, drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), says that almost 50 per cent of the world’s 634 types of primate may disappear forever [Telegraph].

The findings highlight the multiplying threats facing primates throughout Africa, Asia, and South America, says IUCN official Russell Mittermeier: “Tropical forest destruction has always been the main cause, but now it appears that hunting is just as serious a threat in some areas, even where the habitat is still quite intact. In many places, primates are quite literally being eaten to extinction” [Bloomberg]. The study results were announced at the current International Primatological Society meeting.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World
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