Monday, May 22, 2006


My Dolphin Has A First Name...

Research funded by The Royal Society of London has concluded that dolphins recognize each other not by sound or scent or sight, but by individual whistle patterns that correspond to our idea of personal names.

"I think it is a very exciting discovery because it means that these animals have evolved the same abilities as humans," said Dr Vincent Janik, of the Sea Mammal Unit at St Andrews University.

Read the news article here.

The big question is could a dolphin learn our names? Does a dolphin realize we are intelligent? Alive? So long, and thanks for all the fish takes on new meaning...

Clyde Was Smarter than you Think

Research out of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology shows that orangutans and bonobo chimpanzees show the capacity for future planning--one of the cognitive gifts thought to separate humans from animals.

When provided a tool to reach a treat, such as grapes, 50% of the time the research animals kept the tool and used it later. Researchers state, "Our results suggest that future planning is not a uniquely human ability, contradicting the notion that it emerged in hominids only within the past 2.5 to 1.6 million years."

Read the story here.

Read on to find out what those chimpanzees were once planning ahead for...

Will the RWA let us write about this???

Recent studies suggest that early humans and chimpanzees not only shared a common ancestor, but for a while they shared a whole lot more. According to Australian National University anthropologist Colin Groves, the new findings show "that human-chimp speciation may have occurred over a long period with episodes of hybridisation between the emerging species."

In lay terms, that means chimps and the earliest humans were not only able to interbreed, they did so on a fairly regular basis.

Read all about it here.

The best, and I mean best, part of this article was author Stephen Cauchi's last paragraph: "Dr. Groves said that even today it could be possible for humans and chimps to have sex and produce offspring, although there would be ethical problems." Do you think?


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