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What if we've just missed a HUGE evolutionary step in Chimpanzees?

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posted on Oct, 9 2016 @ 03:40 AM
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a reply to: Byrd



Chimps are disadvantaged in that they have special living conditions and are becoming rarer. They have not changed appreciably as a result of being in zoos.


I wonder how much of this is due to the historical conditions of their zoo environments? I remember reading articles about Dr Liz Gould and the production of neurons in captive primates.Here's a good one although not exactly what I was looking for.

Initially, primates were kept in concrete enclosures which were, pretty much, the standard through to the early 80s. It was thought that they didn't require more than warmth, food and water. IIRC Gould became involved with a zoo that took advice and completely redesigned a gorilla enclosure so that it had a pond, trees, soil, grass and emulated their habitat. The effect was immediate with gorillas becoming more active and socially more lively.

Recall here so forgive any errors! This coincided with a new approach to studying neurons. It was noticed that primates in poverty produced no new neurons whereas those in comfortable, quasi-natural habitats had very active neuron production. The studies were carried out on gorillas, chimps and some type of monkey and all had the same results. It obviously had some socio-economic insights for anthropologists studying us too.

Perhaps captive chimp groups need more generations of adaptation before we can be sure about their capacity for change. As an afterthought, examples like the chimp with grass in her ear occurred in reservations under human management.

I wonder what would happen if a group of chimps were fed a diet rich in fatty fish and meats?



An interesting question would be if a different species can claw its way up to civilization while living on a planet dominated by another species that has developed civilization and technology.


That's a tough brain workout! I was mulling your question yesterday in the gym and it's still a great thought-experiment.




posted on Oct, 9 2016 @ 10:48 AM
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originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: Byrd



Chimps are disadvantaged in that they have special living conditions and are becoming rarer. They have not changed appreciably as a result of being in zoos.


I wonder how much of this is due to the historical conditions of their zoo environments? I remember reading articles about Dr Liz Gould and the production of neurons in captive primates.Here's a good one although not exactly what I was looking for.


I had considered that as well - but again, the problem is that there are too few individuals. In order to have this kind of development, you need tools (the dogs have learned to use humans as tools... studies have shown that when a problem is too manually difficult, a dog will come to a human to get them to help. (newspaper article about one of many studies)


Initially, primates were kept in concrete enclosures which were, pretty much, the standard through to the early 80s. It was thought that they didn't require more than warmth, food and water. IIRC Gould became involved with a zoo that took advice and completely redesigned a gorilla enclosure so that it had a pond, trees, soil, grass and emulated their habitat. The effect was immediate with gorillas becoming more active and socially more lively.

And they put them in family groups, moving individuals out who are difficult or who are not desired breeders.

You won't develop a civilization if the only people around you are mom, dad, six siblings, and your Auntie Ellen.


Perhaps captive chimp groups need more generations of adaptation before we can be sure about their capacity for change. As an afterthought, examples like the chimp with grass in her ear occurred in reservations under human management.

It occurs in the wild as well. But their genes aren't changing that rapidly and the danger is that they will become heavily inbred. We could "lift" them up by a breeding and education program but they aren't going to do it by themselves.


I wonder what would happen if a group of chimps were fed a diet rich in fatty fish and meats?

Very sick chimps.

They aren't humans and they need a different diet.



An interesting question would be if a different species can claw its way up to civilization while living on a planet dominated by another species that has developed civilization and technology.


That's a tough brain workout! I was mulling your question yesterday in the gym and it's still a great thought-experiment.



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