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Great Apes

March 2, 1995 | RICK VANDERKNYFF, Rick VanderKnyff is a member of the Times Orange County Edition staff.
"I was born to study orangutans." So begins one chapter in the new book by BirutF. Galdikas, "Reflections of Eden: My Years With the Orangutans of Borneo." That sense of destiny pervades the autobiographical work, which intertwines details of Galdikas' life with glimpses of her 24 years studying the great apes of Indonesia. "I think that sometimes in life, several different threads come together" and point the way to a path in life, she said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
April 19, 2000
Sherwood Larned Washburn, 88, a UC Berkeley primatologist who studied the evolution of human behavior by observing monkeys and apes. A popular teacher whose lectures earned standing ovations, Washburn taught anthropology at Berkeley from 1958 until his retirement in 1978 and was among a handful named "university professor" of the entire nine-campus system. Earlier he had taught at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, and in 1969 was named a trustee of Stanford University.
May 14, 1985 | Associated Press
The U.S. affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund announced a $1-million fund-raising campaign Monday aimed at saving primates--the monkeys, apes and other animals that are the closest relatives of humans--from extinction around the world. Of the 200 primate species, 67 are threatened and 26 "could be extinct by the end of the century if something isn't done," Russell A. Mittermeier, director of primate programs for World Wildlife Fund-U.S., told a news conference.
March 11, 1990 | CHARLES SOLOMON
Since it first appeared in 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic adventure-fantasy and its 22 sequels have sold more than 30 million copies in 58 languages. It's interesting to compare the original to the countless films, rip-offs and spoofs it's inspired. "Tarzan of the Apes" was Burroughs' first novel: The dialogue is often hokey and the story line more than a little improbable.
November 9, 1997
Calling someone "birdbrain" is not as insulting as you might think. New research suggests that parrots, like chimps and dolphins, are capable of mastering complex intellectual concepts that children cannot handle until age 5. Pet experts gathering in Chicago on Friday for an American Veterinary Assn. forum believe the parrot's intelligence is why the bird has grown faster in popularity than any other pet over the past decade.
July 28, 1996
The Denver Zoo opens one of the world's largest primate facilities Tuesday, including one of the country's biggest outdoor habitats for the endangered lowland gorilla. The $14-million facility, called Primate Panorama, has five acres of natural habitats for 29 primate species--Old and New World monkeys, lemurs and great apes such as the orangutans (pictured above right). One acre is set aside for a family of four lowland gorillas.
June 18, 1995 | From Associated Press
A Duke University researcher's discovery that wild orangutans can make and use tools to gather food could shake some fundamental ideas about human origins, including when and how intelligence evolved. Duke anthropologist Carel van Schaik found the 12 tool-using orangutans in a virtually unexplored region on the island of Sumatra. Van Schaik presented the finding recently at a Duke seminar. "They've seen it at last.
March 22, 2008 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Human ancestors walked upright 6 million years ago, at least a million years earlier than previously believed, according to a new analysis of the oldest primate fossil known. The fossil, known as the Millennium Ancestor because it was found in 2000 in the Tugen Hills of Kenya, has been highly controversial.
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