Monkeys Make The Same Bad Gambling Decisions That Humans Do

Humans have a remarkable ability to see patterns where none exist. In the hot-hand phenomenon we perceive streaks of wins or losses where the data, in truth, are random. New research shows that monkeys are subject to the same bias, which might suggest that the bias is evolutionarily adaptive, and maybe even rational. » 7/01/14 10:40am 7/01/14 10:40am

Monkeys Remember "Words" Used by Their Ancestors Centuries Ago

In the mid-1600s, green monkeys from Africa were introduced to the West Indies island of Barbados. Despite living a predator-free life for centuries, the Barbados population still responds to an ancestral alarm call that means, roughly translated, “Run up a tree or a leopard will eat you!” » 10/30/13 7:40am 10/30/13 7:40am

Are Humans Hardwired to Detect Snakes?

The “snake detection theory” holds that snakes played a significant role in the evolution of humans and other primates. They molded our brains, shaped our visual systems, and helped us survive. Now there is new evidence to back up this unusual theory, which explains both our agile minds and our uncanny ability to… » 10/29/13 11:00am 10/29/13 11:00am

Marmosets Have Conversations That Sound Strikingly Human

Marmosets are fluffy, 8-inch-long monkeys native to South America. They are also very polite. New research shows that these little mammals carry on lengthy, back-and-forth discussions without interrupting one another. This is a conversation style adopted by only one other kind of primate: humans. » 10/17/13 12:10pm 10/17/13 12:10pm

Like humans, chimps and orangutans remember their past

Sometimes a particular smell, flavor or other sensory cue can trigger a flood of distant memories. New research shows chimpanzees and orangutans have similar capacities for this kind of episodic memory — they're able to accurately recall an event that happened three years prior. The results suggest, once again, that… » 7/18/13 1:20pm 7/18/13 1:20pm

Fossils reveal the evolutionary split between monkeys and apes

Scientists have discovered fossils of two newfound primate species, dating back to 25 million years ago. One fossil belongs to the group that contains great apes (hominids), while the other is from the group that includes Old World monkeys. The discovery may mark the moment when our primate ancestors first diverged… » 5/16/13 11:40am 5/16/13 11:40am

Do girls naturally prefer dolls to trucks? Evidence from 2 primate…

Are gender roles in-born, or are they imprinted upon us? Science blogger Paul F. Norris went searching for answers in the scientific literature and came up with two incredible studies... one on rhesus monkeys, and the other on chimpanzees. What he discovered sheds some thought-provoking light on the nature/nurture… » 1/26/12 12:18pm 1/26/12 12:18pm