Polite Marmoset Monkey Conversations

Are you as polite as this marmoset monkey? Photo credit: BirdPhotos.com.

Are you as polite as this marmoset monkey? Photo credit: BirdPhotos.com.

Princeton University researchers discovered that marmosets (a kind of new world monkey) take turns speaking with one another, similar to people! During their vocal exchanges, which can last up to 30 minutes, the monkeys wait their turn to speak. They don’t interrupt each other.

According to one of the study’s authors, Asif Ghazanfar:

“We were surprised by how reliably the marmoset monkeys exchanged their vocalizations in a cooperative manner, particularly since in most cases they were doing so with individuals that they were not pair-bonded with.

“This makes what we found much more similar to human conversations and very different from the coordinated calling of animals such as birds, frogs, or crickets, which is linked to mating or territorial defense.”

This research on marmoset vocalizations could provide clues about the early development of conversation in humans.

For more information, see:

Francois’ Langur Baby at the Lincoln Park Zoo

A bright orange baby monkey was born at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago on July 11. Although born with vivid orange fur, this type of monkey, called a Francois’ langur, will gradually turn black after 3-6 months.

Francois langur baby

“Pumpkin is a great mom, and she has been bonding well with her new infant,” said Lead Keeper of Primates Bonnie Jacobs, who is also the vice coordinator of the Francois’ langur Species Survival Program (SSP). “The other three females in the group have already started helping out.”

Francois’ langurs rely on alloparenting, in which other females in the family take turns caring for the offspring. The other females benefit from the experience when they become mothers in the future.

Noisy Addition to the Twycross Zoo

Black and gold howler monkey

Baby black and gold howler monkey named Donatello. Photo credit: Twycross Zoo.

The Twycross Zoo in England welcomed a baby black and gold howler monkey, which is the world’s loudest primate! The little howler monkey has been named Donatello, and he and his mother are doing very well.

Howler monkeys have a very loud, distinctive call that can be heard up to 3 miles away. Male howler monkeys have special throat sacs that allow them to produce such a loud noise. The calls are used to mark their territory.

In the wild, black and gold howler monkeys live in South and Central America. They are threatened by loss of habitat due to agricultural development.

Baby Animals at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens welcomed a trio of baby animals this summer: a giant anteater, a spider monkey, and a kangaroo!

Currently a month old and weighing less than 5 pounds, the baby anteater will eventually grow to be over 100 pounds. The little anteater will ride on his mother’s back for about a year.Baby anteater

Baby anteater

Also spending his days riding on his mother’s back, the baby spider monkey was born in June.
Spider monkey

Spider monkey

Finally, the newest kangaroo at Busch Gardens, named Louis, weighs under 10 pounds and spends most of his time in his mother’s pouch.Kangaroo joey

Kangaroo joey

New Monkey Species Discovered

Discovering a new species of monkey is cool enough, but this species is extra special. Notice anything missing?

This species of snub-nosed monkey is called Rhinopithecus strykeri and lacks a nose. One problem for the species, primatologists have discovered, is that their noses fill up with water when it rains. this causes the monkeys to sneeze constantly.

The monkeys were discovered in Northern Myanmar.

For more, visit CNN.com.

Upcoming Animal Programs on NatGeo

There are several very interesting programs airing in the next few days on NatGeo that focus on animals. Be sure to tune in!

My Child is a Monkey
Airing Friday, August 13 at 5pm ET/PT

They wear diapers and ride in strollers but, they’re not babies — they are “monkids.” NGC goes inside the controversy of adopting monkeys as surrogate babies. Many question whether this is animal cruelty or even a danger to the owners. Others are fiercely devoted to these primates they see as part of the family. See just how far these wild monkeys have come from their treetop habitat as we explore this growing phenomenon.

Watch a video clip that outlines some of the issues that come with integrating a wild animal into a human family.

And Man Created Dog
Airing Friday, August 13 at 9pm ET/PT

If humans were as varied as dogs we would range in height up to 22 feet tall and in weight more than 1,000 pounds. In the ultimate canine ancestral story, NGC traces the genetic journey from wolf to dog, taking viewers back 100,000 years to meet the “mother of all dogs.” It’s no accident that dogs evolved this way, as humans have been selectively breeding them for around 14,000 years to serve our needs as laborer, companion, hunter, herder and warrior, as well as to suit our aesthetic fancy.

In this video clip, we meet an incredible therapy dog named Tuesday who helps an Iraq veteran to overcome his debilitating PTSD.

Wild Nights: New Orleans
Airing Monday, August 9, 2010, at 9pm ET/PT

We journey to the “Big Easy,” famous for streets packed with party fanatics, but they aren’t alone. Mireya’s on a treasure hunt to find as much wildlife as possible and even hopes to confirm a rumor about an unexpected urban invader—a feral hog. We’ll follow as she searches through parks, swamps and city streets to find New Orleans’s wildest animals—including large invasive rodents called nutria that have been devouring the New Orleans ecosystem. She goes on a late-night escapade with a city-hired hog-hunting squad to catch hogs in a central New Orleans park, and eats bayou food including frogs and bugs … local style!

Watch this clip of Mireya tracking down the elusive New Orleans urban hog in a residential neighborhood.

353 New Himalayan Species

treefrogIn the last 10 years 353 new species have been discovered in the eastern Himalayas,  a mountain range in southern Asia. Among the species discovered are the smallest deer, a tree frog that can glide with its large webbed feet, and a new monkey species.  These newly discovered species are at risk, according to the WWF. The region the species were discovered in is at risk of climate change, deforestation, overgrazing, and poaching.

Read more at Yahoo.com.

Baby Saki Monkey at Oregon Zoo

White-faced saki monkeysWhite-faced saki monkeys Jackie and Bam-Bam brought a healthy male baby named Marcelo into the world in late April.

The saki monkey family will be off exhibit while they bond and Marcelo learns essential life skills.

White-faced saki monkeys naturally inhabit the rainforests of Venuzuela, Guianas, and Brazil.

Learn more about Marcelo at the Oregon Zoo website.

Baby Golden-Lion Tamarins at the Santa Ana Zoo

Golden-lion tamarin babies at the Santa Ana Zoo
Photo: Santa Ana Zoo

A pair of golden lion tamarins were born at the Santa Ana Zoo in late March.  Shown here grabbing hold of mother Abril’s back, the babies will put on public display as soon as they start exploring on their own.

Golden lion tamarins are considered endangered in their native home of Brazil.

For more information, see OC Register.