[monkeywire] Public radio on orangs, chimps, bonobos
josh.greenman at gmail.com
Mon Jan 16 22:52:28 EST 2006
full streaming audio is here: http://www.wpr.org/book/060115a.html
podcast of Segment 3 is here:
To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
Do animals have culture? The orangutans of Sumatra certainly do.
They've learned how to fish honey out of tiny termite nests, and to
scoop the pulpy food out of razor-sharp fruits. What's more, they've
passed on this knowledge to their offspring. Now, scientists think
these primates may offer insights into our own cultural evolution. In
this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, what the other primates
reveal about ourselves. And, what really happened to the Neanderthals.
Carel Van Schaik is an anthropologist at the University of Zurich in
Switzerland. His book is called "Among Orangutans." He tells Steve
Paulson that these great red apes use tools and pass learning down
from one generation to the next. And that captive apes can learn all
sorts of skills that are useless in the wild. Also, Birute Galdikas
talks about her almost other-worldly experience of living with
orangutans in Borneo. Galdikas was the first person to do a long-term
field study of the apes in Borneo and is now with the Orangutan
Merian C. Cooper dreamed up the original "King Kong." Cooper was an
Indiana Jones - type figure himself. Now Mark Cotta Vaz has written
his biography. It's called "Living Dangerously." Vaz talks with Anne
Strainchamps about Cooper and the making of the original "King Kong"
and, of course we hear clips.
Frans de Waal is a primatologist at the Yerkes Primate Center in
Atlanta. His latest book is "Our Inner Ape." He talks with Jim Fleming
about chimps, who can be aggressive and violent, and bonobos, who are
mama's boys and like sex. He says human beings are closely related to
both species and our psychology is molded by the same factors as
theirs. Also, Erik Trinkaus is an anthropologist at Washington
University in St. Louis and one of the world's leading scholars on
Neandertals. He tells Steve Paulson that many of our assumptions about
them, and our other "cave man" ancestors are just plain wrong.
Neandertals were successful for a very long time, and just a
behaviorally simpler version of later people.
CD copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 06-01-15-A.
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