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Woman and baby chimpanzee face to face, as if they were talking to each other
Could a Less Complex Larynx Have Enabled Speech in Humans?
A paper argues that the evolutionary loss of a thin vocal membrane in the larynx may have facilitated oral communication.  
Could a Less Complex Larynx Have Enabled Speech in Humans?
Could a Less Complex Larynx Have Enabled Speech in Humans?

A paper argues that the evolutionary loss of a thin vocal membrane in the larynx may have facilitated oral communication.  

A paper argues that the evolutionary loss of a thin vocal membrane in the larynx may have facilitated oral communication.  

primates
Image of not-to-scale renderings of the skulls of various primate species
Surface Area of Tooth Roots Predicts Primate Body Size
Maddie Bender | May 2, 2022 | 2 min read
Researchers determine that a primate’s tooth root, and not just its crown, can yield reliable information about body size, but the relationship between root surface area and diet isn’t as clear.
Three baboons sitting on a tree, looking at the camera
To Mate or Not to Mate? Baboons’ Inbreeding Defense Is Biased
Saugat Bolakhe | Mar 25, 2022 | 3 min read
Researchers find that wild baboons are generally good at avoiding inbreeding, but that it’s more likely to occur with paternal than maternal relatives.
colorful parrot-like bird riding a tiny bicycle on a tightrope
Reptiles are the Real Bird Brains
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Mar 22, 2022 | 4 min read
A research group argues that a species’ number of neurons, rather than brain volume, should serve as indicator of cognitive capacity when studying brain evolution, but some experts voice doubts.
One chimpanzee grooming another on its chin
Chimps Appear to Treat Others' Wounds Using Insects
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Feb 7, 2022 | 2 min read
The practice, which hasn’t been previously observed among nonhuman animals, may be a display of empathy. 
Small group of Scimitar-horned oryx
Tool Identifies Likely Reservoir Species for SARS-CoV-2
Emma Yasinski | Nov 16, 2021 | 4 min read
Researchers used sequencing data and phenotypic traits to predict which of 5,400 species were most likely to be susceptible to contracting and spreading the virus back to humans.
Six primates eat leaves
Umami Taste Receptor Evolved with Primates’ Diets
Abby Olena, PhD | Sep 6, 2021 | 4 min read
A study suggests that mutations in the gene that encodes the T1R1/T1R3 taste receptor allowed primates that relied on insects for protein to transition to eating leaves and fruit.
US Confirms World’s First SARS-CoV-2 Cases in Gorillas
Max Kozlov | Jan 12, 2021 | 2 min read
Zoo officials say the captive primates are recovering, but scientists worry the virus could spread quickly through dwindling wild populations.
Another Ancient Primate Lineage Sailed to South America
Lisa Winter | Apr 10, 2020 | 3 min read
A new fossil discovery indicates a second primate group also traversed the Atlantic millions of years ago on a raft of vegetation.
Image of the Day: Wisdom Teeth Lost
Carolyn Wilke | Jan 9, 2019 | 1 min read
A study of tiny monkey skulls and teeth suggests that shrinking body size didn’t crowd out wisdom teeth during evolution.
Number-Selective Neurons Found in Untrained Crows’ Brains
Diana Kwon | Mar 15, 2018 | 3 min read
The finding suggests corvids may have an innate sense of number.
Image of the Day: Size Matters
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Feb 23, 2018 | 1 min read
The male proboscis monkey’s large nose probably evolved in response to female preference and competition between males.
Image of the Day: Mustachioed Monkey
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Jan 18, 2018 | 1 min read
A scientist confirms a new species of patas monkey in Ethiopia.
Lighting Up Monkey Brains
Jyoti Madhusoodanan | Nov 1, 2017 | 7 min read
Optogenetic and chemogenetic tools illuminate brain and behavior connections in nonhuman primates.
Orangutans Nurse Their Young for More than Eight Years
Diana Kwon | May 18, 2017 | 1 min read
Scientists think these apes switch to breastfeeding during periods of food scarcity.
Orangutan Imitates Human Speech
Tanya Lewis | Jul 27, 2016 | 1 min read
Captive ape produces more than 500 vowel-like sounds, offering clues to how speech evolved in humans.
Contributors
Karen Zusi | Dec 1, 2015 | 3 min read
Meet some of the people featured in the December 2015 issue of The Scientist.
Out of Europe?
David Begun | Dec 1, 2015 | 3 min read
Instead of getting its start in Africa, humanity may have had more Continental roots. 
Book Excerpt from The Real Planet of the Apes
David Begun | Nov 30, 2015 | 4 min read
In Chapter 7, “West Side Story: The African Apes of Europe,” author David Begun describes the thrill of excavating ancient European primates.
Speaking of Science
The Scientist Staff | Aug 1, 2014 | 2 min read
August 2014's selection of notable quotes
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