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October 17, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Grown chimpanzees can't resist the power of a yawn, even if it comes from humans. That's the result of a study involving orphaned chimpanzees rescued from Africa's illegal bush meat trade. Elainie Madsen, an evolutionary psychologist from Sweden's Lund University, yawned and made other faces at the chimps at the Takugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone. She found that only the grown chimps appear to develop a contagion for yawning, just as humans do. Very young chimps didn't imitate the yawns or control gestures -- gaping and nose wiping -- made by Madsen and the chimps' caretaker at the sanctuary.
February 25, 1991 | Times science writer Thomas H. Maugh II reports from the annual meeting of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science in Washington
The ability to make and use tools has long been thought to be a key feature that distinguishes humans from other animals. New results, however, suggest that chimpanzees can probably learn to use tools as easily as early humans did. Anthropologists Nicholas Toth and Kathy Schick of Indiana University studied Kanzi, a well-studied chimpanzee at the Yerkes Primate Research Center in Georgia.
March 3, 1989 | From Associated Press
A team of doctors led by a veterinary surgeon operated on a 20-year-old female gorilla to repair a grapefruit-size hernia that could have been life threatening. A Denver Zoo spokesman said the 214-pound lowland gorilla, Bibi, was awake and hungry after the operation Wednesday.
March 26, 1990 | From staff and wire reports
A field biologist who trudged through a soggy, leech-infested forest in search of a long-lost relative of humans and apes returned with malaria, blood poisoning and the first photographs of an animal no scientist had ever seen alive. The sighting of the hairy-eared dwarf lemur in Madagascar was made by Bernhard Meier of Ruhr University in Bochum, West Germany, and has been described as one of the most important rediscoveries of a mammal in the last decade.
February 15, 1988 | Compiled by Times Science Writer Thomas Maugh II from research presented at the meeting of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science in Boston last week
Among primates, making peace is as natural as making war, according to a primatologist from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. This behavior indicates that mechanisms to alleviate tension in human relationships evolved together with aggression, said Frans B. M. de Waal. "Most animal behavior is explained in terms of a struggle for existence and animals are depicted as very competitive and very selfish," de Waal said.
December 15, 1993 | NONA YATES
Visitors to the Los Angeles Zoo can learn about monkeys, apes and other primates in a series of programs called "Presents for Primates" that will be held each Saturday this month, except Christmas Day. Children and adults will learn about the "toys" used by zoo staff members to keep the animals bright and busy. Discussions will also include the unusual foods that make up the primates' diets. For information on this and other programs at the zoo, call (213) 666-4090.
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