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Humanzee
Yet another step on the 'Yellow Brick Road'....ignore the man behind the curtain!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/...-diabetes/

World's first human-sheep hybrids pave way for diabetes cure and mass organ transplants
www.telegraph.co.uk
Human-sheep hybrids have been created by scientists for the first time, opening the door to organs being grown inside the farmyard animals for use in transplants or to cure diabetes.

Of course it will be the "NOBEL USES" that com!e first.
They will kick open the door t=...then comes HUMANZEE

Will 'WE' build monuments to our achievement in their likeness?
Will we carve their likeness on the walls of our cities, palaces, and temples as the ancients did?
Is there any doubt?
"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us." Ecc 1: 9-10
So, the words Autumn and Fall are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world!

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us. Ecc 1: 9-10
Reply
Quote:The discovery of these handaxes suggests that alternative types of stone tool technologies were simultaneously being used by different populations in this area – supporting the idea that a prehistoric "Game of Thrones" scenario existed as Neanderthals emerged in Europe.




Giant handaxes suggest that different groups of early humans coexisted in ancient Europe
February 23, 2018 by Martina Demuro, Lee Arnold And Mathieu Duval, The Conversation


[Image: gianthandaxe.jpg]
Researchers work on the archaeological site in Spain, known as Porto Maior, where the tool deposits were found. Credit: Eduardo Méndez Quintas, Author provided
Even our earliest human ancestors made and used technology—something we can look back on thanks to the lasting nature of stone tools.

An exceptionally high density of giant handaxes dated to 200,000-300,000 years ago has been uncovered at an archaeological site in Galicia, northwest Spain. The findings are documented in a new article published by our international research team of archaeologists and dating specialists.
The discovery of these handaxes suggests that alternative types of stone tool technologies were simultaneously being used by different populations in this area – supporting the idea that a prehistoric "Game of Thrones" scenario existed as Neanderthals emerged in Europe.
Additional evidence for this idea comes from fossil records showing that multiple human lineages lived in southwest Europe around the same time period.
Stone tool technology
Porto Maior is near the town of As Neves (Pontevedra, Galcia) on a terrace 34m above the current level of the Miño River, which borders northern Portugal and Spain.
The archaeological site at Porto Maior preserves an ancient stone tool culture known as the Acheulean. Characterised by symmetrically knapped stones or large flakes (known as bifaces), the Acheulean is the first sophisticated handaxe technology known in the early human settlement record of Europe.
While Acheulean sites are widespread across the continent, Porto Maior represents Europe's first extensive accumulation of large cutting tools (LCTs) in the Acheulean tradition. Until now, such high densities of LCTs had only been found in Africa. This new finding reinforces an African origin for the Acheulean in Europe, and confirms an overlap in time-frames of distinctly different stone tool cultures on the continent.
[Image: 1-gianthandaxe.jpg]
The large tools are consistent with a culture known as Acheulean. Credit: Eduardo Mendez Quintas, Author provided
At around the same time that handaxes were being used at Porto Maior, a different stone tool tradition (the Early Middle Palaeolithic) was present in Iberia, for example at Ambrona and Cuesta de la Bajada. In central and eastern Europe – where tools were made exclusively on small flakes – the Acheulean tradition has never been found.

Porto Maior introduces further complexity to this overlapping technological pattern, and suggests that distinct early human populations of different geographical origins coexisted during the Middle Pleistocene (between 773,000 and 125,000 years ago).
Handaxe from Porto Maior PM4 level by Eduardo Mendez-Quintas on Sketchfab
Abundant large cutting tools
In total, 3,698 discarded artefacts were recovered from river-lain sediments at the site, with 290 of these making up the studied assemblage reported in our new paper.
The stone tool assemblage is composed of 101 LCTs in original position, and that are on average 18cm long, with a maximum length of 27cm. These handaxe dimensions are exceptionally large by European Acheulean standards (typically only 8-15cm long). The assemblage also contains large cleavers, a type of tool typically found in African sites.
At 9.5 pieces per m² in an excavated area of more than 11.8m², the density of the Acheulean stone tool accumulation is one of the highest recorded globally, surpassing previous European findings of smaller Acheulean tools (usually less than 3 artefacts per m²).
[Image: 2-gianthandaxe.jpg]
Luminescence dating samples being measured under controlled lighting conditions at the University of Adelaide’s Prescott Environmental Luminescence Laboratory. Credit: Lee Arnold
Laboratory analyses indicate that the tools were used to process hard materials such wood and bone, in activities that could have included the breaking up of carcasses.
The Porto Maior acheulian site by Eduardo Mendez-Quintas on Sketchfab
The Spanish site of Porto Maior clearly resembles extensive accumulations of very large tools previously only seen in Africa and the Near East. These similarities reinforce the idea of an African origin for the Acheulean tradition of southwest Europe.
They also raise new questions regarding the origin and mobility of prehistoric human populations – the ancestors of Neanderthals – that occupied the European continent during the Middle Pleistocene period before the arrival of our own species, Homo sapiens.
Dating the tools
The age of these unusually large Acheulean tools at Porto Maior was determined using two different dating methods – post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence (pIR-IRSL) dating of potassium feldspar grains and electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of quartz grains.
These techniques provide an estimate of the last time sand grains within sediments were exposed to sunlight, by looking at their luminescence or paramagnetic properties – that is, they can tell us the timing of sediment burial. This, in turn, can be used to determine when the site was last occupied and when the artefacts discarded by prehistoric populations were subsequently buried by sediment accumulation.
In the study of Porto Maior, pIR-IRSL and ESR dating were applied to grains that had been carefully collected from the sediment layers hosting the stone tools, without exposing the sample material to daylight.
[Image: 3-gianthandaxe.jpg]
Acheulean tools in their primary position at Porto Maior, Spain. Credit: Eduardo Mendez-Quintas, CC BY
The two methods, which were applied independently at two different Australian institutions (University of Adelaide and Griffith University), produced remarkably similar ages.
This confirms the reliability of the dating results, and indicates that the archaeological record spanned the time period from 200,000 to 300,000 years ago.
Migration from Africa
The Acheulean tool-making tradition originated in Africa about 1.7 million years ago, and disappeared on that continent by 500,000 years ago. The specific type of Acheulean tools described at Porto Maior is exclusive to southwest Europe, suggesting that the technology was brought into the region by an "intrusive" population.
The age of Porto Maior is consistent with previous findings from Iberia that suggest that the Acheulean culture experienced an expansion in the region between 400,000 to 200,000 years ago.
Quote:This latest discovery supports the increasingly complex narrative developing from ongoing studies of human fossils from Europe; namely that human groups of potentially different origins and evolutionary stages coexisted across the continent during a time  Arrow when the emergence of Neanderthals was taking place.


While it is clear that more human fossil and stone tool sites need to be reliably dated across the region, a picture appears to be emerging of a turbulent "Game of Thrones" style scenario of hominin evolution in Eurasia during the Middle Pleistocene period.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Stone tools in India suggest earlier human exit from Africa
Provided by: The Conversation


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-giant-hand...s.html#jCp
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
(03-18-2015, 03:11 PM)EA Wrote: http://www.wsj.com/video/dogs-may-have-p...CAA47.html

[Image: mg22530120.400-1_220.jpg]

This makes sense.

Like I said
Aside from the hunting part... Dogs can narrow down who was human and who wasn't.
Unless I am mistaken, Neanderthals did not have hunting dogs.


The cool part is that if you watch the video there is a clear distinction between Spear tactics.

The neanderthals were spear jabber-stabbers while humans were spear-chuckers.

[Image: 2689505555_24cb205ff6_o.jpg]

The optimal angle to throw a spear is ~33.3 degrees
and I have demonstrated an early spear making industry that also may have been a training site as well as a production line.

There was no such thing as a "Hunting Dog" until humans came out of africa.

Shipman said. “Dogs may indeed be man’s best friend.”







How our wolf-dogs hounded out the Neanderthals
16 March 2015 by Pat Shipman
Magazine issue 3012. 


Quote:HUMANS are natural invaders, the mammalian equivalent of Burmese pythons, cane toads and Asian carp. Our species came from Africa and invaded Europe about 50,000 years ago. Perhaps surprisingly, this invasiveness may explain why we have outlasted our last close relatives, Neanderthals, by tens of thousands of years. I believe that the key to our success as invaders lies in our partnership with a weapon with a wagging tail: the domestic dog.

When early modern humans first entered Europe, Neanderthals had been living there for roughly 250,000 years. They knew the terrain and ecosystem intimately. They shared many of our physical and behavioural traits, such as large brains, specialised abilities for making tools and fire, and methods for hunting the same large game. Genetically, Neanderthals were so much like us that we interbred, albeit rarely. Yet the evidence is very clear that we thrived during the period of overlap,while ...

To continue reading this article, subscribe to receive access to all of newscientist.com, including 20 years of archive content.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22...thals.html

Do the Eyes Have It?

[Image: beautiful-siberian-huskies-beautiful-bla...0x1680.jpg]
Dog domestication may have helped humans thrive while Neandertals declined

Pat Shipman

We all know the adage that dogs are man’s best friend. And we’ve all heard heartwarming stories about dogs who save their owners—waking them during a fire or summoning help after an accident. Anyone who has ever loved a dog knows the amazing, almost inexpressible warmth of a dog’s companionship and devotion. But it just might be that dogs have done much, much more than that for humankind. They may have saved not only individuals but also our whole species, by “domesticating” us while we domesticated them.

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/...-have-it/1
The optimal angle to throw a spear is ~33.3 degrees

Quote:The visual imagery employed in drawing regulates arm movements in a manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc their spears must make to hit their animal targets, he concludes.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-neandertha...s.html#jCp


Neanderthals' lack of drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques

March 8, 2018, UC Davis


[Image: 3-neanderthals.jpg]
Replica of drawing of lions painted in the Chauvet Cave. Art in the cave has been identified as created by early modern humans. Credit: Public Domain
Neanderthals had large brains and made complex tools but never demonstrated the ability to draw recognizable images, unlike early modern humans who created vivid renderings of animals and other figures on rocks and cave walls. That artistic gap may be due to differences in the way they hunted, suggests a University of California, Davis, expert on predator-prey relations and their impacts on the evolution of behavior.

Neanderthals used thrusting spears to bring down tamer prey in Eurasia, while Homo sapiens, or modern humans, spent hundreds of thousands of years spear-hunting wary and dangerous game on the open grasslands of Africa.

Richard Coss, a professor emeritus of psychology, says the hand-eye coordination involved in both hunting with throwing spears and drawing representational art could be one factor explaining why modern humans became smarter than Neanderthals.

In an article recently published in the journal Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, Coss examines archaeological evidence, genomics, neuroscience studies, animal behavior and prehistoric cave art.

New theory of evolution

From this, he proposes a new theory for the evolution of the human brain: Homo sapiens developed rounder skulls and grew bigger parietal cortexes—the region of the brain that integrates visual imagery and motor coordination—because of an evolutionary arms race with increasingly wary prey.

Early humans hunted with throwing spears in sub-Saharan Africa for more than 500,000 years—leading their increasingly watchful prey to develop better flight or fight survival strategies, Coss said.

Some anthropologists have suggested that throwing spears from a safe distance made hunting large game less dangerous, he said. But until now, "No explanation has been given for why large animals, such as hippos and Cape buffalo, are so dangerous to humans," he said. "Other nonthreatening species foraging near these animals do not trigger alert or aggressive behavior like humans do."

Drawn from earlier research on zebras



Coss' paper grew out of a 2015 study in which he and a former graduate student reported that zebras living near human settlements could not be approached as closely before fleeing as wild horses when they saw a human approaching on foot—staying just outside the effective range of poisoned arrows used by African hunters for at least 24,000 years.
The neanderthals were spear jabber-stabbers while humans were spear-chuckers.
Neanderthals, whose ancestors left Africa for Eurasia before modern human ancestors, used thrusting spears at close range to kill horses, reindeer, bison, and other large game that had not developed an innate wariness of humans, he said.



Hunting relates to drawing

"Neanderthals could mentally visualize previously seen animals from working memory, but they were unable to translate those mental images effectively into the coordinated hand-movement patterns required for drawing," Coss writes.

Coss, who taught drawing classes early in his academic career and whose previous research focused on art and human evolution, used photos and film to study the strokes of charcoal drawings and engravings of animals made by human artists 28,000 to 32,000 years ago in the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in southern France.

The visual imagery employed in drawing regulates arm movements in a manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc( Arrow ~33.3*) their spears must make to hit their animal targets, he concludes.

These drawings could have acted as teaching tools. "Since the act of drawing enhances observational skills, perhaps these drawings were useful for conceptualizing hunts, evaluating game attentiveness, selecting vulnerable body areas as targets, and fostering group cohesiveness via spiritual ceremonies," he writes.

As a result, the advent of drawing may have set the stage for cultural changes, Coss said. "There are enormous social implications in this ability to share mental images with group members."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Homo sapiens' drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques

More information: Richard G. Coss. Drawings of Representational Images by Upper Paleolithic Humans and their Absence in Neanderthals Might Reflect Historical Differences in Hunting Wary Game, Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture (2018). DOI: 10.26613/esic/1.2.46


Provided by: UC Davis


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-neandertha...s.html#jCp


Russian geneticist repeats dog domestication with foxes in ... - Phys.org
https://phys.org › Biology › Plants & Animals
Sep 16, 2016 - (Phys.org)—A Russian geneticist, the BBC is reporting, replicated the process that led to the domestication of the dog, with foxes, over the course of just ... Foxes cannot be tamed, the conventional thinking goes—you can raise them in your house, feed them like babies and try to cuddle with them, but their ...

Study links fox domestication to gene activity in the pituitary gland
Public Release: 14-Feb-2018  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign




[/url]
[Image: 163051_web.jpg]
[url=https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/163051.php]

IMAGE: A new study finds stress-response differences in the brains of foxes bred to be more or less aggressive toward humans. Pictured here is a tamed fox (Vulpes vulpes).... view more 

Credit: Photo by Darya Schepeleva

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A study of foxes offers new insights into the brain changes that occur in wild canids as they become more tame, researchers report. The study links fox domestication to changes in gene activity in the pituitary gland, a brain center that kicks out hormones to regulate various bodily functions, including the stress response.
The study, published in the journal G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics, adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that domestication alters animals' reactivity to stress.
"Other studies have seen a relationship between tameness and stress responses in animals," said Jessica Hekman, the first author of the paper who worked on the study as a graduate student in the laboratory of University of Illinois animal sciences professor Anna Kukekova. Hekman is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. "In particular, the characteristic reduction in fearfulness of domesticated animals is closely linked to reductions in blood levels of ACTH, a hormone released by the anterior pituitary gland that, among other things, drives the stress response."
To get a better view of how this might occur, the researchers looked at gene activity in the anterior pituitary glands of foxes in a breeding program at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russia, designed to study the evolutionary processes associated with domestication. They compared six foxes selectively bred for tameness and six foxes selectively bred for aggression.
"Previous studies have found that ACTH levels in the anterior pituitary do not differ between tame and aggressive fox strains," Kukekova said. "This means that differential expression of the gene encoding ACTH may not cause the differences seen in blood levels of this hormone, and some other mechanism is reducing ACTH in the bloodstream of tame foxes."
"Our analysis revealed that the differences between tame and aggressive foxes may lie in cells in the anterior pituitary gland, which can change their shapes to communicate with one another about when it's time to release stress hormones," Hekman said. "Their pituitary glands may produce the same amount of stress hormones but be less efficient at getting those hormones into the bloodstream."
"If confirmed, our finding could help explain why tame foxes are not stressed so easily as foxes that have not been selected for tameness," Kukekova said.

The National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture supported this research.

The paper "Anterior pituitary transcriptome suggests differences in ACTH release in tame and aggressive foxes" is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
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Modern humans interbred with Denisovans twice in history

March 15, 2018, Cell Press


[Image: modernhumans.jpg]
This graphical abstract shows two waves of Denisovan ancestry have shaped present-day humans. Credit: Browning et al./Cell
Modern humans co-existed and interbred not only with Neanderthals, but also with another species of archaic humans, the mysterious Denisovans. While developing a new genome-analysis method for comparing whole genomes between modern human and Denisovan populations, researchers unexpectedly discovered two distinct episodes of Denisovan genetic intermixing, or admixing, between the two. This suggests a more diverse genetic history than previously thought between the Denisovans and modern humans.



In a paper published in Cell on March 15, scientists at the University of Washington in Seattle determined that the genomes of two groups of modern humans with Denisovan ancestry—individuals from Oceania and individuals from East Asia—are uniquely different, indicating that there were two separate episodes of Denisovan admixture.

"What was known already was that Oceanian individuals, notably Papuan individuals, have significant amounts of Denisovan ancestry," says senior author Sharon Browning, a research professor of biostatistics, University of Washington School of Public Health. The genomes of modern Papuan individuals contain approximately 5% Denisovan ancestry."

Researchers also knew Denisovan ancestry is present to a lesser degree throughout Asia. The assumption was that the ancestry in Asia was achieved through migration, coming from Oceanian populations. "But in this new work with East Asians, we find a second set of Denisovan ancestry that we do not find in the South Asians and Papuans," she says. "This Denisovan ancestry in East Asians seems to be something they acquired themselves."

After studying more than 5,600 whole-genome sequences from individuals from Europe, Asia, America, and Oceania and comparing them to the Denisovan genome, Browning and colleagues determined that the Denisovan genome is more closely related to the modern East Asian population than to modern Papuans. "We analyzed all of the genomes searching for sections of DNA that looked like they came from Denisovans," says Browning, whose team relied on genomic information from the UK10K project, the 1000 Genomes Project, and the Simons Genome Diversity Project.

"When we compared pieces of DNA from the Papuans against the Denisovan genome, many sequences were similar enough to declare a match, but some of the DNA sequences in the East Asians, notably Han Chinese, Chinese Dai, and Japanese, were a much closer match with the Denisovan," she says.

What is known about Denisovan ancestry comes from a single set of archaic human fossils found in the Altai mountains in Siberia. That individual's genome was published in 2010, and other researchers quickly identified segments of Denisovan ancestry in several modern-day populations, most significantly with individuals from Oceania but also in East and South Asians.

"The assumption is that admixing with Denisovans occurred fairly quickly after humans moved out of Africa, around 50,000 years ago, but we do not know where in terms of location," Browning says. She theorizes that perhaps the ancestors of Oceanians admixed with a southern group of Denisovans while the ancestors of East Asians admixed with a northern group.

Going forward, the researchers plan on studying more Asian populations and others throughout the world, including Native Americans and Africans. "We want to look throughout the world to see if we can find evidence of interbreeding with other archaic humans," says Browning. "There are signs that intermixing with archaic humans was occurring in Africa, but given the warmer climate no one has yet found African archaic human fossils with sufficient DNA for sequencing."

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: A world map of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry in modern humans

More information: Cell, Browning, SR, et al: "Analysis of Human Sequence Data Reveals Two Pulses of Archaic Denisovan Admixture" http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(18)30175-2 , DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.02.031


Journal reference: Cell [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Cell Press


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-modern-hum...y.html#jCp
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
The genomes of five late Neandertals provide insights into Neandertal population history
March 21, 2018, Max Planck Society
[Image: 3-newinsightsi.jpg]
Upper molar of a male Neandertal, Spy 94a, from Spy, Belgium. Credit: I. Crevecoeur
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have sequenced the genomes of five Neandertals that lived between 39,000 and 47,000 years ago. These late Neandertals are all more closely related to the Neandertals that contributed DNA to modern human ancestors than an older Neandertal from the Altai Mountains that was previously sequenced. Their genomes also provide evidence for a turnover in the Neandertal population towards the end of Neandertal history.

Due to the limited number of specimens and difficulties in obtaining endogenous DNA from such old material, the number of Neandertals for which nuclear genomes have been sequenced is still limited. Since 2010 whole genome sequences have been generated for four Neandertals from Croatia, Siberia and the Russian Caucasus. This study adds five new genomes representing Neandertals from a wider geographic range and from a later time period than what was previously obtained.

New methods for the removal of contaminating DNA from microbes and present-day humans that were developed by the Leipzig group have now enabled the researchers to sequence the genomes of five Neandertals from Belgium, France, Croatia, and Russia that are between 39,000 and 47,000 years old. These therefore represent some the latest surviving Neandertals in Europe.

Having genomes from multiple Neandertals allows the researchers to begin to reconstruct Neandertal population history. "We see that the genetic similarity between these Neandertals is well-correlated with their geographical location. By comparing these genomes to the genome of an older Neandertal from the Caucasus we show that Neandertal populations seem to have moved and replaced each other towards the end of their history", says first author, Mateja Hajdinjak.

The team also compared these Neandertal genomes to the genomes of people living today, and showed that all of the late Neandertals were more similar to the Neandertals that contributed DNA to present-day people living outside Africa than an older Neandertal from Siberia. Intriguingly, even though four of the Neandertals lived at a time when modern humans had already arrived in Europe they do not carry detectable amounts of modern human DNA. "It may be that gene flow was mostly unidirectional, from Neandertals into modern humans", says Svante Pääbo, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

"Our work demonstrates that the generation of genome sequences from a large number of archaic human individuals is now technically feasible, and opens the possibility to study Neandertal populations across their temporal and geographical range", says Janet Kelso, the senior author of the new study.

  [/url]Explore further: Dating encounters between modern humans and Neandertals

More information: Mateja Hajdinjak et al, Reconstructing the genetic history of late Neanderthals, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/nature26151


Journal reference: Nature
Provided by: Max Planck Society


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-genomes-la...l.html#jCp




Extent of cross-breeding between wild wolves and domestic dogs across Europe and Asia

March 21, 2018 by Sophie Belcher, University of Lincoln


[Image: extentofcros.jpg]
Credit: University of Lincoln
Mating between domesticated dogs and wild wolves over hundreds of years has left a genetic mark on the wolf gene pool, new research has shown.



The international study showed that around 60 per cent of Eurasian grey wolf genomes carried small blocks of the DNA of domestic dogs, suggesting that wolves cross-bred with dogs in past generations.

The results suggest that wolf-dog hybridisation has been geographically widespread in Europe and Asia and has been occurring for centuries. The phenomenon is seen less frequently in wild wolf populations of North America.  

Researchers examined DNA data from grey wolves – the ancestors of the domestic dog – to determine how much their gene pool was diluted with the DNA of domestic canines, and how widespread the process of hybridisation is.

Despite the evidence of hybridisation among Eurasian grey wolves, the wolf populations have remained genetically distinct from dogs, suggesting that such cross-breeding does not diminish distinctiveness of the wolf gene pool if it occurs at low levels.

The results could have important conservation implications for the grey wolf, which is a keystone species – meaning it is vital to the natural balance of the habitat it occupies. The legal status of hybrids is still uncertain and unregulated.

The study was led by researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research and the University of California, Los Angeles.  

Dr Malgorzata Pilot, from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln, said: "The fact that wild wolves can cross-breed with dogs is well-documented, but little was previously known about how widespread this phenomenon has been and how it has affected the genetic composition of wild wolf populations.

"We found that while hybridisation has not compromised the genetic distinctiveness of wolf populations, a large number of wild wolves in Eurasia carry a small proportion of gene variants derived from dogs, leading to the ambiguity of how we define genetically 'pure wolves'.

"Our research highlighted that some individual wolves which had been identified as 'pure wolves' according to their physical characteristics were actually shown to be of mixed ancestry. On the other hand, two Italian wolves with an unusual, black coat colour did not show any genetic signatures of hybridisation, except for carrying a dog-derived variant of a gene linked to dark colouration. This suggests that the definition of genetically 'pure' wolves can be ambiguous and identifying admixed individuals can be difficult, implying that management strategies based on removal of suspected hybrids from wolf populations may be inefficient.

"Instead, our study has highlighted a need to reduce the factors which can cause hybridisation, such as abundance of free-ranging dogs, small wolf population sizes, and unregulated hunting."

Studying a specific type of genetic variation in the DNA sequences of wolves and domestic dogs – called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) – the scientists identified the transfer of dog gene variants into wolf genomes.

A single DNA sequence is formed from a chain of four nucleotide bases and if some individuals in a population do not carry the same nucleotide at a specific position in the sequence, the variation is classified as an SNP.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Wolves found to be more cooperative with their own kind than dogs with theirs

More information: Małgorzata Pilot et al. Widespread, long-term admixture between grey wolves and domestic dogs across Eurasia and its implications for the conservation status of hybrids, Evolutionary Applications (2018). DOI: 10.1111/eva.12595


Provided by: University of Lincoln


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-extent-cro...c.html#jCp


Promiscuity may have accelerated animal domestication
March 21, 2018, University of Liverpool


[Image: promiscuitym.jpg]
Credit: University of Liverpool
Domestication of wild animals may have accelerated as promiscuity increased among the high density populations drawn to life near humans, according to a new paper by University of Liverpool researchers.

Archaeologist Dr. Ardern Hulme-Beaman and evolutionary biologist Professor Paula Stockley suggest that the domestic traits of previously wild animals, such as wolves, pigs and cats, were greatly enhanced due to the significant increase in mating opportunities found in human environments.

Professor Paula Stockley, from the University's Institute of Integrative Biology, said: "As population density increased, males encountered mating opportunities more frequently, and the benefits of pursuing these likely outweighed the costs of attempting to defend exclusive access to females.

"Polyandrous mating therefore often increased with high population density."

Male animals that reproduce with multiple females, rather than defending a single mate, experience many benefits to sperm production and quality, while female animals who engage in the same behaviour encounter benefits to their fitness and a reduction in unwanted advances.

The researchers argue that this leads to a rapid change in reproductive traits and competitive fertility, and may explain the "dramatically different social behaviours" that domesticated animals display when compared to their wild ancestors.

Dr. Ardern Hulme-Beaman, from the University's Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, said: "If early domestic animals lived at higher density than their wild counterparts, the likelihood of early domestic females breeding with multiple partners increased.

"It follows that if early domestic females mated with multiple males, both wild and domestic, the more abundant and higher quality sperm of the early domestic male would out-compete the sperm of wild males.

"This could explain the reduction in transfer of genes between wild and increasingly domesticated populations."

While the researchers accept that habitat preference and selection by humans are likely to be the primary driving forces behind domestication of wild animals, they suggest further research into how changes in mating behaviour contributed to this process could "greatly illuminate" our understanding.

  Explore further: Tiny wasps provide vital clue to avoiding extinction

More information: Ardern Hulme-Beaman et al. Sperm competition as an under-appreciated factor in domestication, Biology Letters (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0043


Journal reference: Biology Letters
Provided by: University of Liverpool


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-promiscuit...n.html#jCp




Predators learn to identify prey from other species

March 21, 2018, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


[Image: predatorslea.jpg]
The fringe-lipped bat, Trachops cirrhosus, on the left. The white-throated round-eared bat, Lophostoma silvicolum, on the right. Credit: Merlin Tuttle, MerlinTuttle.org

Wolves purportedly raised Romulus and Remus, who went on to rule Rome. Is there good scientific evidence for learning across species? Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama wanted to know if predatory bats learn both from other members of their own species and from other predatory bat species.



"We wanted to know if bats learn to recognize new foods from members of another bat species as quickly as they learn from their own species," said first author Krista Patriquin, a postdoctoral fellow with STRI Staff Scientist, Rachel Page, at the time of the study. "It turns out they do."

"This tells us how bats may cope with changes in food availability resulting from environmental changes and helps to explain how bats have become such successful and widespread mammals," said Patriquin, now a postdoc at the University of Toronto.

The research team first tested fringed-lipped bats, Trachops cirrhosus, to find out if they could learn from other bats in the same species that a computer-generated tone is linked with a food reward of bait fish.

Then they asked whether the same bats could learn to recognize the tone from another species in their neighborhood, the white-throated, round-eared bat, Lophostoma silvicolum.

"We previously taught the fringed-lipped bats to identify a frog call with the same food reward," said Rachel Page. "It took them longer to recognize this artificially generated sound as a signal for food, presumably because it was not a sound that was familiar to them."

"We also thought it was fascinating that despite their ability to learn from one another, the bats preferred to hang near members of their own species in the flight cage. In the wild, we have never seen them in the same roost, although they may roost very close to roosts of the other species, so they seem to recognize and identify with their own species."

The bats could also learn to recognize a new food source by trial and error, without h

elp from other bats. However, it took them much longer. Social learning saves time and energy otherwise spent on trial and error learning and reduces the possibility of making costly mistakes. Some of the 1300-plus bat species in the world live for up to 40 years, so the ability to learn not only from their own species, but from other species in their communities may make a huge difference in terms of their survival.

"These are highly intelligent bats!" said Jenna Kohles, a STRI intern when the study was done, and now back at STRI as a Masters' student at the University of Konstanz. "We've gained exciting insights into how not just one species may adapt to environmental changes and new food resources, but how whole communities of animals occupying similar ecological niches may adapt together as information and innovation spreads from one species to another."

  Explore further: A survival lesson from bats—eating variety keeps species multiplying

More information: K.J. Patriquin el al., "Bats without borders: Predators learn novel prey cues from other predatory species," Science Advances (2018). advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/3/eaaq0579


Journal reference: Science Advances
Provided by: [url=https://phys.org/partners/smithsonian-tropical-research-institute/]Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-predators-...s.html#jCp
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With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
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‘Uniquely human’ muscles have been discovered in apes
 Thu, May 24, 2018
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Apes also have muscles long-believed to be only present in humans and used for walking on two legs, using complex tools, and sophisticated facial and vocal communication.
[Image: muscles-300x126.jpg]
FRONTIERS—Muscles once thought ‘uniquely human’ have been discovered in several ape species, challenging long-held theories on the origin and evolution of human soft tissues. The findings question the anthropocentric view that certain muscles evolved for the sole purpose of providing special adaptations for human traits, such as walking on two legs, tool use, vocal communication and facial expressions. Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the study* highlights that thorough knowledge of ape anatomy is necessary for a better understanding of human evolution.
“This study contradicts key dogmas about human evolution and our distinct place on the ‘ladder of nature,'” says Rui Diogo, an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy at Howard University, Washington, USA. “Our detailed analysis shows that in fact, every muscle that has long-been accepted as ‘uniquely human’ and providing ‘crucial singular functional adaptations’ for our bipedalism, tool use and vocal and facial communications is actually present in the same or similar form in bonobos and other apes, such as common chimpanzees and gorillas.”
Long-standing evolutionary theories are largely based on the bone structures of prehistoric specimens — and, according to Diogo, also on the idea that humans are necessarily more special and complex than other animals. These theories suggest that certain muscles evolved in humans only, giving us our unique physical characteristics. However, verification of these theories has remained difficult due to scant descriptions of soft tissues in apes, which historically have mainly focused on only a few muscles in the head or limbs of a single specimen.
Diogo explains, “There is an understandable difficulty in finding primate, and particularly ape, specimens to dissect as they are so rare both in the wild and museums.”
To find enough data to complete this research, Diogo compiled all previous information on ape anatomy based on studies with colleague Bernard Wood. He also conducted anatomical research on several bonobos that died of natural causes, together with colleagues at the University of Antwerp under the Bonobo Morphology Initiative 2016 — looking for the presence of seven different muscles thought to have evolved only in our species.
Diogo discovered that these seven muscles were present in apes in a similar or even exact form. For example the fibularis tertius muscle, said to be uniquely associated with human bipedalism (walking on two legs), was present in half the examined bonobos. Similarly, both the laryngeal muscle arytenoideus obliquus and the facial muscle risorius — thought to have evolved for our uniquely sophisticated vocal and facial communication, respectively — were present in at least some chimpanzees and/or gorillas.
These findings open crucial new directions for research and question our understanding of human evolution. “The picture emerging from this research is that the origin and evolution of human soft-tissue is clearly more complex — and not as exceptional — as first thought,” says Diogo.
“We need a more thorough examination of why these muscles are present in apes and, in some cases, in just part of a population within a certain species,” he says. “Are these muscles essential for the apes that have them, as adaptationist evolutionary scientists would argue? Or are they evolutionary neutral features related to how their bodies develop, or simply by-products of other features?”
He concludes, “Most theories of human evolution give the impression that humans are markedly distinct from apes anatomically, but these are unverifiable ‘just-so stories’. The real evidence shows we are not so different overall. This study highlights that a thorough knowledge of ape anatomy is necessary for a better understanding of our own bodies and evolutionary history.”
___________________________________
[Image: muscles-300x126.jpg]Figure showing the striking similarities between the head muscles of common chimpanzees, bonobos and humans: the very rare exceptions are those shown in colors and with text. Rui Diogo
___________________________________
Article Source: A Frontiers news release
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10....00053/full



Quote:Genetically, ‘the world is not a blurry place.’ It is hard to find ‘intermediates’ — the evolutionary stepping stones between species. The intermediates disappear. The research is a new way to show that species are ‘islands in sequence space.’ Each species has its own narrow, very specific consensus sequence, just as our phone system has short, unique numeric codes to tell cities and countries apart.

Far from special: Humanity’s tiny DNA differences are ‘average’ in animal kingdom
 Mon, May 21, 2018
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Paper offers new insights into evolution; as with humans, over 90 percent of animal species today likely originated 100,000-200,000 years ago.
[Image: geneticdiversity1-300x251.jpg]
HUMAN EVOLUTION—Researchers report* important new insights into evolution following a study of mitochondrial DNA from about 5 million specimens covering about 100,000 animal species.
Mining “big data” insights from the world’s fast-growing genetic databases and reviewing a large literature in evolutionary theory, researchers at The Rockefeller University in New York City and the Biozentrum at the University of Basel in Switzerland, published several conclusions today in the journal Human Evolution. Among them:
  • In genetic diversity terms, Earth’s 7.6 billion humans are anything but special in the animal kingdom. The tiny average genetic difference in mitochondrial sequences between any two individual people on the planet is about the same as the average genetic difference between a pair of the world’s house sparrows, pigeons or robins. The typical difference within a species, including humans, is 0.1% or 1 in 1,000 of the “letters” that make up a DNA sequence.
  • Genetic variation – the average difference in mitochondria DNA between two individuals of the same species – does not increase with population size. Because evolution is relentless, however, the lack of genetic variation offers insights into the timing of a species’ emergence and its maintenance.
  • The mass of evidence supports the hypothesis that most species, be it a bird or a moth or a fish, like modern humans, arose recently and have not had time to develop a lot of genetic diversity. The 0.1% average genetic diversity within humanity today corresponds to the divergence of modern humans as a distinct species about 100,000 – 200,000 years ago – not very long in evolutionary terms. The same is likely true of over 90% of species on Earth today.
  • Genetically the world “is not a blurry place.” Each species has its own specific mitochondrial sequence and other members of the same species are identical or tightly similar. The research shows that species are “islands in sequence space” with few intermediate “stepping stones” surviving the evolutionary process.
Among 1st “big data” insights from a growing collection of mitochondrial DNA
“DNA barcoding” is a quick, simple technique to identify species reliably through a short DNA sequence from a particular region of an organism. For animals, the preferred barcode regions are in mitochondria – cellular organelles that power all animal life. (See also http://bit.ly/2HGduvD)
The new study, “Why should mitochondria define species?” relies largely on the accumulation of more than 5 million mitochondrial barcodes from more than 100,000 animal species, assembled by scientists worldwide over the past 15 years in the open access GenBank database maintained by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information.
The researchers have made novel use of the collection to examine the range of genetic differences within animal species ranging from bumblebees to birds and reveal surprisingly minute genetic variation within most animal species, and very clear genetic distinction between a given species and all others.
“If a Martian landed on Earth and met a flock of pigeons and a crowd of humans, one would not seem more diverse than the other according to the basic measure of mitochondrial DNA,” says Jesse Ausubel, Director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University, where the research was led by Senior Research Associate Mark Stoeckle and Research Associate David Thaler of the University of Basel, Switzerland.
“At a time when humans place so much emphasis on individual and group differences, maybe we should spend more time on the ways in which we resemble one another and the rest of the animal kingdom.”
Says Dr. Stoeckle: “Culture, life experience and other things can make people very different but in terms of basic biology, we’re like the birds.”
“By determining the genetic variety within species of the animal kingdom, made possible only recently by the burgeoning number of DNA sequences, we’ve documented the absence of human exceptionalism.”
Says. Dr. Thaler: “Our approach combines DNA barcodes, which are broad but not deep, from the entire animal kingdom with more detailed sequence information available for the entire mitochondrial genome of modern humans and a few other species. We analyzed DNA barcode sequences from thousands of modern humans in the same way as those from other animal species.”
“One might have thought that, due to their high population numbers and wide geographic distribution, humans might have led to greater genetic diversity than other animal species,” he adds. “At least for mitochondrial DNA, humans turn out to be low to average in genetic diversity.”
“Experts have interpreted low genetic variation among living humans as a result of our recent expansion from a small population in which a sequence from one mother became the ancestor for all modern human mitochondrial sequences,” says Dr. Thaler.
“Our paper strengthens the argument that the low variation in the mitochondrial DNA of modern humans also explains the similar low variation found in over 90% of living animal species – we all likely originated by similar processes and most animal species are likely young.”
Genetic variation does not increase with population
The study results represent a surprise given predictions found in textbooks, and based on mathematical models of evolution, that the bigger the population of a species, the greater the genetic variation one expects to find.
“Is genetic diversity related to the size of the population?” asks Dr. Stoeckle. “The answer is no. The mitochondrial diversity within 7.6 billion humans or 500 million house sparrows or 100,000 sandpipers from around the world is about the same.”
The paper notes, however, that evolution is relentless, that species are always changing, and, therefore, the degree of variation within a given species offers a clue into how long ago it emerged distinctly — in other words, the older the species the greater the average genetic variation between its members.
Evolutionary bottlenecks: the fresh new beginning of a species
While asteroids and ice ages have played major roles in evolutionary history, scientists speculate that another great driver may have been the microbial world, notably viruses, which periodically cull populations, leaving behind only those able to survive the deadly challenge.
“Life is fragile, susceptible to reductions in population from ice ages and other forms of environmental change, infections, predation, competition from other species and for limited resources, and interactions among these forces,” says Dr. Thaler. Adds Dr. Thaler, “The similar sequence variation in many species suggests that all of animal life experiences pulses of growth and stasis or near extinction on similar time scales.”
“Scholars have previously argued that 99% of all animal species that ever lived are now extinct. Our work suggests that most species of animals alive today are like humans, descendants of ancestors who emerged from small populations possibly with near-extinction events within the last few hundred thousand years.”
‘Islands in sequence space’
Another intriguing insight from the study, says Mr. Ausubel, is that “genetically, the world is not a blurry place. It is hard to find ‘intermediates’ – the evolutionary stepping stones between species. The intermediates disappear.”
Dr. Thaler notes: “Darwin struggled to understand the absence of intermediates and his questions remain fruitful.”
“The research is a new way to show that species are ‘islands in sequence space.’ Each species has its own narrow, very specific consensus sequence, just as our phone system has short, unique numeric codes to tell cities and countries apart.”
Adds Dr. Thaler: “If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies. They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”
The researchers say that with the bones or teeth of an ancient hominid, like those found in southern France or northern Spain, scientists might shed further light on the rate of evolution of the human species.
“It would be very exciting if over the next few years physical anthropologists and others were able to compare mitochondrial DNA from hominid species over the last 500,000 years,” says Dr. Stoeckle.
_______________________________
[Image: geneticdiversity1-300x251.jpg]Today’s study, “Why should mitochondria define species?” published as an open-access article (DOI: 10.14673/HE2018121037) in the journal Human Evolution, builds on earlier work by Drs. Stoeckle and Thayer, including an examination of the mitochondrial genetic diversity of humans vs. our closest living and extinct relatives. The amount of color variation within each red box of the Klee diagram illustrates the far greater mitochondrial diversity among chimpanzees and bonobos than among living humans. (From the journal Ecology and Evolution, online at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf.../ece3.2394). The Rockefeller University
_______________________________
[Image: geneticdiversity2-300x237.jpg]The study results represent a surprise given predictions found in textbooks, and based on mathematical models of evolution, that the bigger the population of a species, the greater the genetic variation one expects to find. In fact, the mitochondrial diversity within 7.6 billion humans or 500 million house sparrows or 100,000 sandpipers from around the world is about the same. The paper notes, however, that evolution is relentless, that species are always changing, and, therefore, the degree of variation within a given species offers a clue into how long ago it emerged distinctly — in other words, the older the species the greater the average genetic variation between its members. The Rockefeller University
_______________________________
[Image: geneticdiversity3-300x294.jpg]Genetically, ‘the world is not a blurry place.’ It is hard to find ‘intermediates’ — the evolutionary stepping stones between species. The intermediates disappear. The research is a new way to show that species are ‘islands in sequence space.’ Each species has its own narrow, very specific consensus sequence, just as our phone system has short, unique numeric codes to tell cities and countries apart. The Rockefeller University
_______________________________
Article Source: Journal of Human Evolution news release
*”Why should mitochondria define species?”, published as an open-access article (DOI: 10.14673/HE2018121037) in the journal Human Evolution.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Reply
Half Human, half chicken.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/9...ken-hybrid
So, the words Autumn and Fall are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world!

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us. Ecc 1: 9-10
Reply
Quantum Chimpanzees: Do Watched Primates Change Their Behavior?
[Image: dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-4-720x720.jpg?ver=1.jpg]
https://evolution-institute.org/quantum-...-behavior/


Chimp communication gestures found to follow human linguistics rules
February 13, 2019 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report

[Image: chimp.jpg]
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
A team of researchers with members from the U.K., Switzerland and Spain has found that chimpanzees use communication gestures in ways that follow human linguistic rules. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their study of chimps communicating with one another in the wild, and compares their observations against human communication rules.




Over the years, linguistic researchers have discovered that human languageconforms to specific rules regardless of the language in which it is spoken. Such rules have names to make them more easily discussed. One such rule, Zipf's law of abbreviation, holds that words that are used frequently tend to be short. Another rule is called Menzerath's law—it says that large language structures tend to be made up of multiple short segments (syllables) when spoken. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if such rules might apply to other animals. To find out, they obtained and studied video footage of wild chimpanzees living and communicating in Uganda's Budongo Forest Reserve.

The researchers were able to identify approximately 2,000 examples of 58 unique gestures used by the chimps when communicating with one another. Since chimps cannot speak, they communicate by using hand gestures, body posture, facial expressions and they make various noises. By combining gestures that are available to them, chimps are able to convey a wide variety of messages to one another.

The researchers found that human language rules do apply to the chimpanzees' use of gestures—the most commonly used gestures tended to be quite short, for example, and longer gestures tended to be broken up by multiple shorter gestures. They suggest that this indicates that despite the major differences in the mode of communication, the underpinnings of the two communications systems follow the same basic mathematical principles. Interestingly, an international team of researchers found just last year that human toddlers and chimps have very similar communications systems.

The researchers plan to continue their research by expanding their analysis to include other species—they expect to focus on bonobos next because they are known to use many of the same gestures as chimpanzees.

Explore further: Researchers decode gestures used by chimpanzees to communicate with each other

More information: Raphaela Heesen et al. Linguistic laws in chimpanzee gestural communication, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.2900
Journal reference: Proceedings of the Royal Society B



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-02-chimp-gest...s.html#jCp



Quote:Dow jumps 444 points; Stock Market's 8th Straight Weekly Gain...

Orangutans make complex economic decisions about tool use depending on the current 'market' situation

February 14, 2019, University of Vienna

[Image: orangutansma.jpg]
Female orangutan. Credit: Alice Auersperg
Flexible tool use is closely associated with higher mental processes such as the ability to plan actions. Now a group of cognitive biologists and comparative psychologists from the University of Vienna, the University of St Andrews and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna that included Isabelle Laumer and Josep Call, has studied tool related decision-making in a non-human primate species – the orangutan. They found that the apes carefully weighed their options: eat an immediately available food reward or wait and use a tool to obtain a better reward instead? To do so the apes considered the details such as differences in quality between the two food rewards and the functionality of the available tools in order to obtain a high quality food reward, even when multidimensional task components had to be assessed simultaneously.

[Image: TrumpTool.jpg]

Dow jumps 444 points; Stock Market's 8th Straight Weekly Gain...

[Image: DzePhdqXgAMs68R.png]
[b]PRESIDENT DECLARES BORDER EMERGENCY...
Promised to 'Build That Wall,' Then Ran Out of Time and Options...
UPROAR FROM ALL SIDES...
[/b]

Tool-use in animals is a rare and often quickly rated as intelligent due to its striking nature. For instance, antlions throw small pebbles at potential prey, archer fish down prey by spitting water at them, and sea otters use stones to crack open shells. Nevertheless, most types of tool use are quite inflexible, typically applied to one situation and tightly controlled by processes that are a part of the respective animal's inborn behavioural repertoire. In contrast, intelligent tool use requires the integration of multiple sources of information to flexibly adapt to quickly changing environmental conditions.

Orangutans share 97 percent of their DNA with us and are among the most intelligent and most endangered primates. They have human-like long-term memory, routinely use a variety of sophisticated tools in the wild and construct elaborate sleeping nests each night from foliage and branches. In their natural habitat, the evergreen rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, orangutans have to consider several factors simultaneously, such as the predictability to find ripe fruits, the distance and reachability of food as well as the available tools to open extractable food sources. So far it was unknown how orangutans adapt their decisions when the use of a tool is involved and how many factors they can process at the same time in order to make profitable decisions.

[Image: 1-orangutansma.jpg]
Adult male uses a stick tool. Credit: Alice Auersperg
Researchers from the University of Vienna, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the University of St Andrews investigated for the first time how orangutans adapt their decisions when the use of a tool is involved and how many factors they can process at the same time in order to make profitable decisions at the Wolfgang Koehler Primate Research Center in Leipzig.

The researchers used two different types of food items: Banana-pellets, which are the orangutans' most favourite food type, and apple pieces which they like but disregard if banana-pellets are available. They could extract these items from two different apparatuses: an apparatus required probing with a stick tool to obtain the food item while the other required dropping a ball inside it. Each apparatus could only be operated with the respective tool. During testing, orangutans were confronted with either one or two baited apparatus/es and a choice between two items (usually a food item and a tool). Once the apes had picked one item the other was immediately removed.



Orangutans flexibly adapted their decisions to different conditions: "If the apple piece (likeable food) or the banana-pellet (favourite food) was out of immediate reach inside the apparatus and the choice was between an immediate banana-pellet and a tool, they chose the food over the tool, even when the tool was functional for the respective apparatus", explains Isabelle Laumer who conducted the experiment. "However, when the orangutans could choose between the apple-piece and a tool they chose the tool but only if it worked for the available apparatus: For example when the stick and the likeable food was available but the apes faced the ball-apparatus baited with the favourite banana-pellet, they chose the apple-piece over the non-functional tool. However when the stick-apparatus with the banana-pellet inside was available they chose the stick-tool over the immediate apple-piece", she further explains. "In a final task, that required the orangutans to simultaneously focus on the two apparatuses, one baited with the banana-pellet and the other with the apple and the orangutans had to choose between the two tools they were still able to make profitable decisions by choosing the tool that enabled them to operate the apparatus with the favorite food."

[Image: 2-orangutansma.jpg]
Mother and child. Credit: Alice Auersperg
These results are similar to findings in Gofffin cockatoos that have been previously tested in the same task. "Similar to the apes, the cockatoos could overcome immediate impulses in favor of future gains even if this implied tool use. "The birds were confronted with the choice between a tool to retrieve an out-of-reach food item and an immediate reward. We found that they, similar to the apes, were highly sensible to the quality of the immediate relative to the out-of-reach reward at the same time as to whether the available tool would actually work with the task at hand", explains Alice Auersperg, the head of the Goffin Lab in Austria. She continues: "Again, this suggests that similar cognitive abilities can evolve independently in distantly related species."Nevertheless, the cockatoos did reach their limit at the very last task in which both apparatuses baited with both possible food qualities and both tools were available at the same time."

"Optimality models suggest that orangutans should flexibly adapt their foraging decisions depending on the availability of high nutritional food sources, such as fruits", says Josep Call from the University of St Andrews. "Our study shows that orangutans can simultaneously consider multi-dimensional task components in order to maximize their gains and it is very likely that we haven´t even reached the full extent of their information processing capabilities."

"According to a 2007 survey by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) orangutans will be extinct in the wild within two decades if current deforestation trends continue", says Isabelle Laumer. "Habitat loss due to extensive palm-oil production is the major threat. Unfortunately palm oil is still the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. As long as there is a demand for palm oil and we keep buying products that contain palm oil, more and more of the rain-forest will be destroyed. Each of us can positively impact the survival of these extraordinary animals by making purchase decisions that may appear small, but that can collectively make a huge impact on our planet."

Explore further: Cockatoos make economic decisions about tool use depending on the current 'market' situation

More information: Isabelle B. Laumer et al. Orangutans (Pongo abelii) make flexible decisions relative to reward quality and tool functionality in a multi-dimensional tool-use task, PLOS ONE (2019). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211031 

Journal reference: PLoS ONE
Provided by: University of Vienna



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-02-orangutans-complex-economic-decisions-tool.html#jCp
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
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To be honest, I thought we'd to this point years ago. But it is still coming
https://www.brecorder.com/2019/04/11/488...uman-like/
So, the words Autumn and Fall are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world!

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us. Ecc 1: 9-10
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