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It’s extremely fucked up that people are concerned/amused by the obesity and subsequent ~weight loss regime~ of Oshine, a female orangutan in captivity in the UK, when her physical condition was due to being raised as a pet with living conditions and a diet unfit for her, then sloughed off because she was not manageable in her maturity
On 20 December 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim March 3rd as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival.
Today is a great day to pay attention to all the good work that is being done to protect our wildlife and preserve our habitats. At the same time, the day reminds us of how much work is still left to be done. We need to continue and expand our efforts in the fight against wildlife crime, habitat destruction, conservation, and sustainability. The future of our world is entirely in our hands.
Can my field research question just be “which lemur is fluffiest and softest?” because i just want to touch all of them
Yes. Yes you can.
"Potential adaptive values and consequences for pelage density and quality among Lemuriformes"
(It fits rather nicely with this open source piece on dental combs.)
What a paragon of Orangutan masculinity is he!
Coming down from the trees: Is terrestrial activity in Bornean orangutans natural or disturbance driven?
“The orangutan is the world’s largest arboreal mammal, and images of the red ape moving through the tropical forest canopy symbolise its typical arboreal behaviour. Records of terrestrial behaviour are scarce and often associated with habitat disturbance. We conducted a large-scale species-level analysis of ground-based camera-trapping data to evaluate the extent to which Bornean orangutans Pongo pygmaeus come down from the trees to travel terrestrially, and whether they are indeed forced to the ground primarily by anthropogenic forest disturbances. Although the degree of forest disturbance and canopy gap size influenced terrestriality, orangutans were recorded on the ground as frequently in heavily degraded habitats as in primary forests. Furthermore, all age-sex classes were recorded on the ground (flanged males more often). This suggests that terrestrial locomotion is part of the Bornean orangutan’s natural behavioural repertoire to a much greater extent than previously thought, and is only modified by habitat disturbance. The capacity of orangutans to come down from the trees may increase their ability to cope with at least smaller-scale forest fragmentation, and to cross moderately open spaces in mosaic landscapes, although the extent of this versatility remains to be investigated” (read more/open access).
***About to read. Sounds interesting.
The moment was captured on video, and even the most cynical are likely to be moved by the footage. When Jane Goodall, who turns 80 in April, and her co-workers open the door of Wounda’s cage, the chimp quickly exits and then looks around at her surroundings with what seems like an awed expression.
Before setting off for new adventures, Wounda (whose name means “close to death”) reached out to Goodall and they share a tender hug. The final goodbye took place in June of 2013.
A 5-year-old Bonobo (Pan paniscus) turns out to be the most curious individual of a wild group of bonobos near the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite being humans’ closest living relatives, little is known about bonobos and their behavior in the wild in remote parts of the Congo basin. Bonobos are threatened by habitat loss and bush meat trade.
[cue elaborate entrance sequence, complete with sparkles and roses]
Polyandry is particularly rare in primates (and even in those it occurs it, it seems to be a facultative behavior, meaning that it doesn’t always happen). Primate reproductive strategies depend on many circumstances: who disperses, numbers of females, gestation periods, food availability, food quality, and predation. However, the best indicators of primate reproductive strategies, or reproductive strategies in general, is looking at intrasex and intersex competition.
There is a inequality in sex between males and females. The best male reproductive strategy is to mate with everyone. To help achieve this, males ejaculate sperm which, with each ejaculation, is scientifically known as a shitton of sperm. It costs them basically nothing to create the sperm, the supply is limitless
(unlike my bank account),and they will continue to generate sperm from the moment they hit puberty until they die. Contrarily, the best female reproductive strategy is to mate with the best fit male. The female’s cost is much higher than the males. She has a limited number of eggs (yes, it’s the same even with nonhuman primates), her reproductive period is limited, and it is extremely energetically costly for her.
Because of this inequality, reproductive strategies can become crazy like sperm competition can evolve, chemical warfare, infanticide, and sexual dimorphism. So, considering that the best reproductive strategies for males is to mate with everyone, and the best strategy for females is to mate with the best fit male, why does polyandry exist?
Polyandry primarily occurs in callichitrids, more specifically, tamarins. It also occurs in human societies too, but that’s a whole different story. Tamarins and marmosets tend to be monogamous and/or polyandrous. Many tend to be monogamous, but sometimes polyandrous systems can be found. Why so? Well, callichitrids tend to give birth to twins and triplets, their gestation period is super short compared to other primates, and they live in an environment that would help facilitate that. Pygmy Marmosets have been known to form monogamous pairs, and sometimes another male will join in. The female will mate with both and birth twins. Unlike many primate societies (and even some monogamous societies), these fathers will help raise the young. Similarly, Saddleback Tamarins also show this facultative behavior. In these societies, the ecology and female reproductive abilities play a large role in determining the best reproductive strategy. By mating with multiple partners, the female ensures that the males are never completely sure if they’re the father and will thus help rear the infant on the off chance that it is indeed his. This strategy will also help give the infants a better chance at survival because there are multiple adults looking after the multiple infants, thus increasing their chances to get better quality foods, and also having more guardians to protect the infant and mother.
In short, solely polyandrous primate species doesn’t exist (to my knowledge) in the wild, buuuuut it can occur as a strong reproductive and survival strategy.
Dr. Alison Jolly, noted primatologist, reknowned for her extensive work on Madagascar’s lemurs, passed away last week. She was 77 years old.
I had the good fortune to meet her a few years ago. Other people who work on more closely related subjects to hers will be able to say more about her career, and I don’t doubt that numerous eulogies will be written. But she was known to every researcher working in Madagascar, if not by sight then certainly by name.
Her contributions to our knowledge of lemur behaviour and social systems were incomparable.
She will be sorely missed.