The world’s rarest great ape has found a safe haven in the mountains of the west central African nation of Cameroon. With guidance from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Cameroon’s prime minister, Ephraim Inoni, has created the world’s first sanctuary exclusively for the Cross River gorilla.Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary spans only 19.5 square kilometers but contains an important segment of the Cross River gorilla population. The species’ range consists of 11 scattered sites in Cameroon and Nigeria. Of the estimated 300 or fewer Cross River gorillas that remain, approximately 20 live in the new reserve.”The creation of this sanctuary is the fruit of many years of work in helping to protect the world’s rarest gorilla subspecies,” says Dr. Roger Fotso, director of WCS-Cameroon. Fotso and his colleagues worked in tandem with the Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in laying the groundwork for the sanctuary.
The rest of the details are here.I am not personally convinced that this is the rarest population of great apes. The most threatened are certainly the eastern lowland gorillas of the Congo, of which there may be only a handful left. If any.
Cheeta, yoiu may not realize this, but it was YOU who got me interested in Africa and Anthropolology! Happy 76th birhday! You don’t look a day over 50 or so.And no, I don’t say that to all the chimps, just some of them. Continue reading Happy Birthday Cheeta!
Charlton Heston, Ben Hur, friend to future apes, Moses, English King, has died at the age of 84.In the words of Michael Levine, Heston’s agent:
“If Hollywood had a Mt. Rushmore, Heston’s face would be on it”
Here some footage of Heston getting stoned: Continue reading Charlton Heston Dead
This is a photograph of wild western lowland gorillas copulating in, sort of, the missionary position. This shot was taken in the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. Continue reading Wild Gorillas Gone Wild
OK, here’s a quiz for you. You have a tube that is fixed in space. You cannot move it. It is too small for you to get your hands into it, and there is a peanut in the bottom. You want the peanut. How do you extract the peanut?Have a look at how this chimp did it: Continue reading Brilliant chimp
Remember this post on chimpanzee food sharing? Over a PLoS, where the original paper is published, you can get involved in a discussion of the paper. I posted something over there in response to someone else’Go have a look, here.Access to the discussion is on the right side bar.
Is chimpanzee food sharing an example of food for sex?
One of the most important transitions in human evolution may have been the incorporation of regular food sharing into the day to day ecology of our species or our ancestors. Although this has been recognized as potentially significant for some time, it was probably the Africanist archaeologist Glynn Isaac who impressed on the academic community the importance of the origins of food sharing as a key evolutionary moment. At that time, food sharing among apes was thought to be very rare, outside of mother-infant dyads. Further research has shown that it is in fact rare … the vast majority of calories consumed by human foragers in certain societies and at certain times of the year comes from a sharing system, while the fast majority of calories consumed by chimpanzees is hand to mouth without sharing.
Continue reading Chimpanzee Food Sharing
Taurotragus oryx, Kalahari, South Africa.
Aepyceros melampus. This is one of the more widespread antelopes. Impala can be either grazers or browsers. They are pretty and they taste good.This herd is located at De Wildt’s Reserve very near Johannesburg
The African Buffalo is NOT a bison, and it is NOT a “water buffalo” (it is not even the same genus as water buffalo). But like these other beasts, it is a kind of cattle.The scientific name of the African Buffalo, or Cape Buffalo, is Syncerus caffir. Only the most cynical taxonomists would support the continued use of this term. “Caffer” is the same word as “Kaffir” which in modern usage has the same connotation as “Nigger.” The term “caffir” or “kaffir” has been dropped from other species names, but as far as I know, not yet from the Cape Buffalo. I don’t know why.This particular buffalo is standing tummy-deep in the mud at the base of a fairly large dam on a river in Kruger National Park, South Africa. You can obviously see that the dam (lake) is somewhat dried up. The disturbed surface of the water that you can see off to the right of the Cape Buffalo is caused by very large cat fish who are waiting for rain. Continue reading The African Buffalo