Kissing is so commonplace that most people rarely think to stop and ask where humans picked up the habit in the first place. Where in humanity's evolutionary history did smooshing our faces together come to be regarded as a display of lust, care, friendship, and love?
She was just thirteen years old when my grandmother last saw her parents at Auschwitz. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, it's worth pausing to reflect on how our species led my grandmother to find herself in such a horrific place, and how it might have been avoided.
Yesterday, the chimpanzees of the Kansas City Zoo staged an escape attempt. Zoo workers managed to lure them back to safety with chocolate.
A research team at the University of Texas, led by chemists Jodi Connell, Marvin Whiteley, and Jason Shear, has 3D-printed this microscopic chimpanzee skull, which later served as an unsettling proof-of-concept for printing "microscopic houses" to trap bacteria, forming "tiny zoos for the study of infections."
Why do we smile and even giggle when we're afraid? Are we trying to work things out? Or are we trying to convince everyone, even our attacker, that nothing's wrong? Here's what science has to say about "fear grinning."
How did smooshing our faces together come to signify love and affection?
We have identified well over a hundred different gestures used by chimpanzees, more than enough to reveal the primates use nonverbal communication much like we do. But it's what the chimps are saying with their hands that's truly fascinating.
An international team of researchers has mapped the genome of the bonobo for the first time, revealing that this great ape shares as much DNA with humans as its more aggressive cousin, the chimpanzee. Identifying and understanding how all three genomes overlap, researchers say, could offer new insights into what makes…
When a chimpanzee goes to sleep, it first has to build a "nest", which allows it to sleep safely up in the trees. Strangely, chimpanzees also build nests when sleeping on the ground, which might reveal a secret about human evolution.
Sadly, this news doesn't involve chimps wearing badges and shooting criminals... at least, not yet. But our fellow primates do display behaviors much like a human cop, as respected members of chimp populations will intervene in conflicts as an impartial peacekeepers.
Our closest evolutionary relatives are chimpanzees, and both of our species are much more related to each other than to gorillas, the next closest relative. But a new genome analysis reveals we share some unexpected traits with our massive gorilla cousins.
There are four genetically distinct chimpanzee populations, all found in two relatively small regions of Africa. And yet these populations, which are sometimes less than a mile apart, are more genetically diverse than humans that live on different continents.
This is Ayumu, he's an 11-year-old chimpanzee who lives and trains at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute. In his time there, Ayumu has come to excel at an incredibly difficult — albeit very straightforward — memorization game. If you challenge him to this game, you will lose.
Bonobos look like tame versions of chimpanzees. They're much less aggressive than chimps, their features are softer and smaller than their cousins, and they famously have sex for pleasure. Basically bonobos are domesticated... except humans had nothing to do with it.
Most species will raise the alarm instinctively if they see a deadly threat. Chimpanzees, however, are way too sophisticated for all that. They actually figure out if the other chimps are aware of the threat, before bothering to say anything.
Before most of us could talk, we were communicating with gestures — holding, pointing and reaching at objects, for example, to communicate our wants and needs to others.
Until recently, scientists figured that the origins of human language could be found in our vocal cords. That seems reasonable enough, but the latest evidence suggests our hands are actually the source of language...and a bunch of hand-waving primates agree.
Humans and chimpanzees share up to 99% of the same DNA, which is particularly remarkable considering we don't look anything like each other. The reason behind our vast difference in appearance is all thanks to our seemingly useless so-called "junk" DNA.
Primate Cinema: Apes as Family is an intriguing new art installation currently being shown in the UK. Half of it represents a human's attempt to make a movie specifically for chimps... while the other half shows how chimpanzees react to it.