Monday, January 29, 2007

When Evolution Runs Backwards

A fascinating article appeared in the Jan. 13-19, 2007 edition of New Scientist. This was entitled "The Ancestor Within" by Michael LePage.

New evidence reveals the existence of many atavisms in nature. These are characteristics from ancient ancestors which suddently appear in modern species.

Prior to these discoveries, an axiom known as Dollo's Law was the widely held belief. Dollo's Law states that evolution can only run forward, not backward. However the preponderance of atavisms being discovered have caused scientists to question the accuracy of Dollo's Law.

It now appears that many characteristics of our ancient ancestors are not lost in our genome. Instead these genes are switched off, but can be switched on by mutation, or when environmental stress merits them being reintroduced in order to increase the chances of survival.

Michael's article is concise, and understandable to non-scientests, such as myself. If you are interested in evolution, then I think that you will enjoy it!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Save the Chimpanzee - Save the World

The Jane Goodall Institute has made a huge impact on primate preservation. She is one of the true "Heroes". Jane proves that one person can still make a difference in this world.

The recent completion of the chimpanzee genome reveal that there is only a 1.3% genetic difference between humans and our closest primate cousins. I believe that there is a great deal that we can learn from chimpanzees, including how to act more humanely towards each other.

I support The Jane Goodall Institute. I encourage you to do so as well! Please mention Monkey Prose if you do!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Monkey Portraits by Jill Greenberg

Monkey Portraits by Jill Greenberg. A wonderful collection portraits by well known photographer Jill Greenberg. They are powerful, funny, and whimsical. I really enjoyed it! I hope that you will as well.

Monkey Portraits is available at as well as other book retailers.

I encourage you to check out Jill's other work by clicking on the Jill Greenberg hyperlink (above). She is incredibly talented!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Chimps Incorporated

Chimps Incorporated is a group based in Oregon who are rescuing chimps that were used in the entertainment industry. They are also creating habitats for them. They could use some help. Check them out. Please mention Monkey Prose if you contact them!

How We Became Human

The Oct. 9, 2006 edition of Time Magazine has a fascinating cover story about how humans evolved from other apes.

The chimpanzee genome was completed in 2005. When this was compared with the human genome, the variance was only 1.23%.

One significant difference between our two species is that chimpanzees don't appear to be susceptible to AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, or a particular type of malaria. Since our two genomes are so similar, a study of the differences may reveal a genetic basis for these diseases.

Check it out at What Makes Us Different?

Gorilla birth to feature in alternative Czech reality show

Gorilla Birth will be featured on a Czech alternate reality show. Click on this hyperlink to see the details.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Monkeyfuss by Daniel O'Connor who is also known as Educated Metalhead. This cartoon confirms the old saying "What goes around comes around!"

Monkeys on "The Simpsons"

Monkeys on "The Simpsons" is the most comprehensive listing of monkey references on the popular TV show "The Simpsons". It is the perfect activity for people who have way too much free time!


According to the blog Monkeys in the News scientists in South Korea are trying to clone monkeys. If they are successful, then this would be the highest species to be cloned. Check it out!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Primate Profile - Ike

Ike resides at the Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville, KY. He is a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) who was born on June 6, 1994. Ike came to the Primate Rescue Center after the research laboratory at which he was bred and housed was closed. Ike is the second oldest male, which makes him a target of Donald, the dominant male. This is typical in chimp society, unfortunately, and even though Ike tries to avoid conflict, he often seems to find himself in the center of it. He and Donald do have their good times, and he gets along well with the others. Overall, he is quite a popular fellow. Noelle in particular has a crush on Ike and hates to be apart from him.

To find out more about Ike, contact the Primate Rescue Center.

I encourage you to support this worthwhile organization. Please mention Monkey Prose if you do!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Friday, January 05, 2007

German Monkey Sings About Bananas

German Monkey Sings About Bananas with his friend, German Horse. One of the better German - Monkey - Bananas cartoons that I have seen!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bride of the Gorilla

Bride of the Gorilla Starring Raymond Burr and Lon Chaney Jr. Of all the Gorilla Marriage movies, this one is the best!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bela Lugosi Meets The Brooklyn Gorilla

Bela Lugosi Meets The Brooklyn Gorilla The comedy team in this movie look like clones of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis!

Silverback Gorilla at the San Francisco Zoo

Silverback Gorilla at the San Francisco Zoo. In part of the video, he is walking upright, which is unusual.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Andy McKee playing "Into the Ocean"

Into the Ocean played by Andy Mckee. Monkey Prose received the highest number of site visits (for one day) when I previously posted another Andy McKee song - "Drifting". Here is a new song from Andy. In this video, Andy is playing a harp guitar, which allows him to hit very low notes. I really like Andy's music! I hope that you will too!

Chimpanzees - An Unnatural History

Chimpanzees - An Unnatural History An excellent PBS Production which discusses human - chimpanzee interaction. You can find more information about this program at Chimpanzees. Chimpanzee DNA is 98% the same as humans, so are they "people"? If so, is it ethical to use them for medical experments? There is an excellent book which describes how "human" chimpanzees are. It is Next of Kin by Roger Fouts. I believe that this question needs to be discussed in a rational and impartial forum. I welcome comments from both sides of this issue.

Giant Asian Ape and Humans Coexisted, Might Have Interacted

Giant Asian Ape A very interesting article from National Geographic News. It's a shame that they went extinct before the NBA was created!