I think that everyone should take a look at these gorgeous drawings representing Women and their accomplishements in Science, by Rachel Ignotofksy - a fantastic illustrator and graphic designer. She also has a lil Etsy shop where she sells her prints here!!!

New species of orangutan discovered in Sumatra – and is already endangered
Scientists identify new species of great ape, Pongo tapanuliensis or Tapanuli orangutan, but fear its survival is already in doubt as habitat under threat
By Nicola Davis

A new species of great ape has been discovered, according to scientists studying a small population of orangutans in northern Sumatra.

Among the great apes – a group that also includes humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos – orangutans are our most distant relative. Since 2001, two distinct species have been recognised: the Bornean (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatran (Pongo abelii) orangutans. Now, it seems, there is a third.

“It is incredibly exciting to describe a new species of ape,” said Serge Wich, professor in primate biology at Liverpool John Moores University and a co-author of the research. Wich also noted that it was a shock to find such a distinct population given Sumatran orangutans are found just 100km away.

Continue Reading.

Evidence of a chimpanzee-sized ancestor of humans but a gibbon-sized ancestor of apes
Body mass directly affects how an animal relates to its environment and has a wide range of biological implications. However, little is known about the mass of the last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees, hominids (great apes and humans), or hominoids (all apes and humans), which is needed to evaluate numerous paleobiological hypotheses at and prior to the root of our lineage. Here we use phylogenetic comparative methods and data from primates including humans, fossil hominins, and a wide sample of fossil primates including Miocene apes from Africa, Europe, and Asia to test alternative hypotheses of body mass evolution. Our results suggest, contrary to previous suggestions, that the LCA of all hominoids lived in an environment that favored a gibbon-like size, but a series of selective regime shifts, possibly due to resource availability, led to a decrease and then increase in body mass in early hominins from a chimpanzee-sized LCA. The pattern of body size evolution in hominids can provide insight into historical human ecology. Here, Grabowski and Jungers use comparative phylogenetic analysis to reconstruct the likely size of the ancestor of humans and chimpanzees and the evolutionary history of selection on body size in primates.

anonymous asked:

Can you post your list of books to be read? (Spotted in your tags haha) or maybe some anthro book recs? Less archaeology if you can :p thanks!

What’s wrong with archaeology books?  ;-)

I have several books that I can recommend or that are on my “want to read list”.

Books I’ve read and recommend:

Clearing the Plains by James Daschuk - This is primarily a history book about how diseases have impacted the First Nations peoples of Canada but I read it as a supplement to my Medical Anthropology course

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language by David Anthony - Yes, it’s bronze-age archaeology but there’s a linguistics focus too!

Fragments of the Afghan Frontier by Magnus Marsden and Benjamin Hopkins - an ethnography and history of the formation of Afghanistan.  As much as Afghanistan has been in the news over the past decades, I don’t think most of us really understand how the country came to be and why the borders are so problematic for their society.

Mothers and Others by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy - I read a lot of Hrdy’s work for my primatology courses and evolutionary anthropology courses. I enjoyed her writing so much that when I found this book, I bought it as soon as I saw it.

Pathologies of Power by Paul Farmer - This was required reading for my medical anthropology course. I don’t think I would have read it on my own but I’m really glad that I did.

Books I want to read: (if you’ve read any of theses - let me know how you liked them!)

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes by Svante Pääbo

Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums by Samuel J. Redman

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins by Ian Tattersall

'Star Wars gibbon' is new primate species

by Rebecca Morelle 

The animal has been studied for some time, but new research confirms it is different from all other gibbons.

It has been named the Skywalker hoolock gibbon - partly because the Chinese characters of its scientific name mean “Heaven’s movement” but also because the scientists are fans of Star Wars.

The study is published in the American Journal of Primatology.
Dr Sam Turvey, from the Zoological Society of London, who was part of the team studying the apes, told BBC News: “In this area, so many species have declined or gone extinct because of habitat loss, hunting and general human overpopulation.

"So it’s an absolute privilege to see something as special and as rare as a gibbon in a canopy in a Chinese rainforest, and especially when it turns out that the gibbons are actually a new species previously unrecognised by science.”

Hoolock gibbons are found in Bangladesh, India, China and Myanmar. They spend most of their time living in the treetops, swinging through the forests with their forelimbs, rarely spending any time on the ground.

But the research team - led by Fan Peng-Fei from Sun Yat-sen University in China - started to suspect that the animals they were studying in China’s Yunnan Province were unusual.

All hoolock gibbons have white eyebrows and some have white beards - but the Chinese primates’ markings differed in appearance.
Their songs, which they use to bond with other gibbons and to mark out their territory, also had an unusual ring.

Read more via BBC 

I don’t have any idea of who or what God is.  But I do believe in some great spiritual power.  I don’t know what to call it.  I feel it particularly when I’m out in nature.  It’s just something that’s bigger and stronger than what I am or what anybody is.  I feel it.  And it’s enough for me.
—  Jane Goodall
Chimpanzees spontaneously take turns in a shared serial ordering task
Social coordination can provide optimal solutions to many kinds of group dilemmas, and non-human subjects have been shown to perform single actions successively or simultaneously with partners to maximize food rewards in a variety of experimental settings. Less attention has been given to showing how animals are able to produce multiple (rather than single) intermixed and co-regulated actions, even though many species’ signal transmissions and social interactions rely on extended bouts of coordinated turn-taking. Here we report on coordination behaviour in three pairs of chimpanzees (mother/offspring dyads) during an experimentally induced turn-taking scenario. Participants were given a “shared” version of a computer-based serial ordering task that they had previously mastered individually. We found that minimal trial-and-error learning was necessary for the participants to solve the new social version of the task, and that information flow was more pronounced from mothers toward offspring than the reverse, mirroring characteristics of social learning in wild chimpanzees. Our experiment introduces a novel paradigm for studying behavioural coordination in non-humans, able to yield insights into the evolution of turn-taking which underlies a range of social interactions, including communication and language.

Lately I haven’t been able to stop drawing great apes & fossil hominids. I draw them as one method of learning about them.

Here’s a little bit of me visually exploring probably the most culturally famous individual fossil hominid, an individual who lived about 3.2 million years ago on the land that is present-day Ethiopia, called “Lucy”, presumed female based on comparative pelvis physiology.

As part of the species afarensis in the group Australopithecus of the hominid family, “Lucy” was a close cousin of the family lines that all living humans descend from. Some earlier members of the group Australopithecus are ancestors of both “Lucy” and all humans. Lucy’s species, afarensis, is the closest relative of those common ancestors that we know of so far.

Lucy, the individual, was about 3 ft 7 in (1.1 m) tall, which seems very small to us but was not unusually short for members of the afarensis species. Generally speaking, members of the Australopithecus group had all the necessary hardware to walk upright, and probably did regularly.

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