Do Chimpanzees Mourn For Their Dead?

Note: The next addition of the Four Stone hearth will at This is Serious Monkey Business on February 2nd. Pleas get your submissions in!

That seems to be the way the press is portraying the video below. The video was released in conjunction with an article published in the American Journal of Primatology (the article can also be found here) Continue reading

Cause of Death Affects Racial Classification on Death Certificates

The title of this post is the name of a fascinating paper in PLoS One. I haven’t had time to read the entire article but here is the first couple of paragraphs: Continue reading

Was Australopithecus anamensis  Arboreal?

That is the question asked by a recemt paper in Folia Primatologica. I don’t have access but Discovery News has the story. Apparently, the researchers analyzed the capitates of a number of hominoids and hominins. According to Discovery News: Continue reading

Interesting Science Picture: Part XV

The picture below comes from an interesting article on a case of mutalism between pitcher plants and bats.

Service benefit provided by N. r. elongata to K. h. hardwickii. (a) Aerial pitcher of N. rafflesiana var. elongata. (b) The same pitcher with the front tissue removed to reveal a roosting Hardwick’s woolly bat. (c) The shorter aerial pitcher of N. rafflesiana variety typica.

The original picture and the article it comes from can be found here.

Orangutan Genetics: Begging for an Article

There are a couple of interesting articles on Orangutan genteics out. The first, published in Nature (and is open acess), announces the sequencing of the Orangutan genome. Results are kind of interesting. From Science Daily (I haven’t had a chance to read the Nature article yet):

However, in a surprising discovery, the researchers found that at least in some ways, the orangutan genome evolved more slowly than the genomes of humans and chimpanzees, which are about 99 percent similar.

“In terms of evolution, the orangutan genome is quite special among great apes in that it has been extraordinarily stable over the past 15 million years,” says senior author Richard K. Wilson, PhD, director of Washington University’s Genome Center, which led the project. “This compares with chimpanzees and humans, both of which have experienced large-scale structural rearrangements of their genome that may have accelerated their evolution.”

Continue reading

New Zoo Baby

Below is a picture of the newest resident at the St. Louis Zoo:

Black rhino born at St. Louis Zoo.

It is a male black rhino born on January 14th.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: A Film By Werner Herzog

Apparently Werner Herzog has made a 3-D movie about Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc. A trailer for the film is below the fold. Continue reading

King Tutankhamun’s Family and Genetics

Back in February of 2010 I blogged about a research paper on Tutankhamun. In that post I focused on the paleopathological findings of the Hawass et al article and didn’t really mention the genetic research and resulting identification of Tutankhamun’s family. Recently this second aspect of the Hawass et al study have bubbled to the surface. Continue reading

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!

Okay it’s none of the above, it’s a mountain lion spotted in St. Louis County. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The question is: What’s it doing in Chesterfield?

The Missouri Department of Conservation isn’t quite sure, but most likely the mountain lion was just passing through in search of territory or a mate.

The pictures taken Jan. 12 from a stationary wildlife camera mark the first confirmed sighting in St. Louis County since 1994, and the 13th in the state.

The department hasn’t ruled out that the cougar might belong to one of the 32 people in the state who have permits to keep captive mountain lions. It’s checking with them, conservation spokesman Joe Jerek said.

If it is a wild animal that would be really cool. Interestingly enough the area in St. Louis County where it was spotted is known for having a large deer population – but that is another story.

Four Stone Hearth Volume 111 Is Up

The 111th volume of the Four Stone Hearth is up at The Prancing Papio. Check it out!