June 2008

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In one of the biggest victories for the Punkey agenda happened in Spain. From Reuters:

Spain’s parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.

Parliament’s environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.

“This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity,” said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project.

Spain may be better known abroad for bull-fighting than animal rights but the new measures are the latest move turning once-conservative Spain into a liberal trailblazer. (more…)

Looks like monkeys are getting smarter by the day. This isn’t a Great Ape we’re talking about, a clever chimp or a genius gorilla. This is a lowly capuchin monkey that’s starting to get smarter. From Science Daily:

From paintings and photographs to coins and credit cards, we are constantly surrounded by symbolic artifacts. The mental representation of symbols — objects that arbitrarily represent other objects — ultimately affords the development of language, and certainly played a decisive role in the evolution of our hominid ancestors. Can other animal species also comprehend and use symbols? Some evidence suggests that apes, our closest relatives, can indeed use symbols in various contexts. However, little is known about the symbolic competence of phylogenetically more distant species.


If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes? – George Carlin

Don’t let the pompous snooty narrator fool you. This is undercover footage of a punkey ninja camp.

Wow. The punkey propaganda machine is revving on all cylinders with this news from Science Daily:

Compared to their sex-mad, peace-loving bonobo counterparts, chimpanzees are often seen as a scheming, war-mongering, and selfish species. (They are!!) As both apes are allegedly our closest relatives, together they are often depicted as representing the two extremes of human behaviour.

Orlaith Fraser, who will receive her PhD from LJMU’s School of Biological Sciences in July 2008, has conducted research that shows chimpanzee behavior is not as clear cut as previously thought. Her study is the first one to demonstrate the effects of consolation amongst chimpanzees.

In her recently published article, Fraser analyses how the apes behave after a fight. Working with Dr Daniel Stahl of Kings College London and Filippo Aureli, LJMU’s Professor of Animal Behaviour, she found that third-party chimpanzees will try to console the ‘victim’ of the fight by grooming, hugging and kissing.


…But teach a monkey to fish, and they’ll take over the world! From China Daily:

Long-tailed macaque monkeys have a reputation for knowing how to find food – whether it be grabbing fruit from jungle trees or snatching a banana from a startled tourist.

Now, researchers say they have discovered groups of the silver-haired monkeys in Indonesia that fish.

Groups of long-tailed macaques were observed four times over the past eight years scooping up small fish with their hands and eating them along rivers in East Kalimantan and North Sumatra provinces, according to researchers from The Nature Conservancy and the Great Ape Trust.

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