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The strange reason why hagfish tie themselves into knots

Posted on 9 Sep 2016 in Animal Behaviour, Evolution, Journalism

Hagfish do not actually have bony vertebrae in their backs: they are literally spineless. They have several hearts, and at least twice as much blood in their bodies as other fish. On top of that, they have only half a jaw, yet they can still tear through tough flesh. And they can tie themselves in knots. Image: kinskarije

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Secrets of how primates can live at extreme altitude revealed

Posted on 23 Aug 2016 in Animal Behaviour, Conservation, Evolution, Journalism

It can be lonely at the top. Snub-nosed monkeys live at a higher altitude than any other non-human primate – but they are also among the rarest of all primates. Image: jackhynes

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Well-travelled chimps more likely to pick up tools and innovate

Posted on 19 Jul 2016 in Animal Behaviour, Journalism

Spot a tool-using chimpanzee in Uganda’s Budongo Forest, and you could probably say it’s come a long way – in more ways than one. Chimps here are more likely to make use of tools to gather food if they have used up precious energy reserves travelling in the previous week. Image: feverblue

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Monkey stone tools in Brazil pre-date discovery of Americas

Posted on 11 Jul 2016 in Animal Behaviour, Archaeology, Journalism

They are literally a tough nut to crack. To enjoy tasty cashews you first have to figure out a way to remove the shells, which contain a caustic chemical. The bearded capuchin monkeys of Brazil may have been up to the task for centuries – and watching them work could even have taught us how to eat cashew nuts safely. Image: Dick Knight

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Elderly monkeys choose to have fewer friends – just like us

Posted on 23 Jun 2016 in Animal Behaviour, Featured, Health, Journalism, Life

Do you see as many friends now as you did 10 years ago? Your shrinking social circle isn’t just a human trait – it seems that, as they get older, monkeys become more selective about who they spend time with too. Image: David Holt London

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Orcas are first non-humans whose evolution is driven by culture

Posted on 31 May 2016 in Animal Behaviour, Evolution, Journalism

You could call it a culture shock. Many researchers accept that cultural experiences have helped shape human evolution – and evidence has now emerged that the same may be true of killer whales. Image: Shawn McCready

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