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Primate Communication

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 17 October 2013

We have known for a while that primates use verbal communication either in disputes over territory or in mating calls. However a recent study has revealed that Marmoset monkeys engage in chit chat for up to 30 minutes, just like we do. This is the first time we have seen any primates glean so much information from verbal communication. The conversational patterns and etiquettes are remarkably similar to human conversation. This gives us an insight into human development of speech.

Discovery of the Oldest Complete Nervous System
When it comes to looking at fossils most often just the bones of the creature are found, and the rest of the tissue has decomposed. A great appendage arthropod fossil from 520 million years ago has been discovered with a complete nervous system and is the oldest nervous system that has ever been found. As an ancestor to many of today’s spiders and crustaceans, this fossil gives a fascinating insight into the evolution of these creatures.

Impacts of Humans on Endangered Species
Many of us recognise that human actions often have a detrimental impact on the environment, but new research shows just how strong the link is. Human life expectancy has been found to have the strongest correlation to the number of endangered and invasive species within a given country.

Photo credit: Marmoset monkey - © Leszek Leszczynski


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