I saw a poster for a lecture on some Lemurs, by a Dr. Woman-I-can’t-remember-the-name-of, in my town, with an opportunity to talk with her afterwards.
I got really excited because this sort of thing NEVER happens ANYWHERE near me let alone my own town.
I went there (and I was late so I had to eat my dinner super fast and then walk-run)
and when I got there
the hall was locked so I wandered around for a while
I found out it isn’t until next weekend and I read the date wrong
so I looked like an idiot.
BUT I am going to this exhibition tomorrow! Really looking forward to it. I love love love The Natural History Museum, I grew up in London and used to go there most weekends, but I haven’t been there for ages now. :)
I also found out about a 3 day course about the husbandry, care and rehabilitation of rescue primates. I want to do it, but it is in Holland…Should I get a train to the docks, get a night ferry, then a train through Europe, while I am skint, have no idea what I’m doing, and am terrified of travelling by myself? Or not?
Pygmy slow loris’ tend to be less active on cool nights when the moon is bright according to research.
Researchers reported in the online journal PLoS One that they found pygmy slow lorises to be less active on bright moonlit nights, possibly as a means of avoiding predators.
"The most plausible explanation is that on bright cold nights the combined risk of being seen and attacked by predators and heat loss outweigh the benefit of active behaviours," according to the research.
The scientists observing the primates found that this was particularly marked in the cool dry season, as otherwise the lorises could use the fuller foliage of the wet season to hide and thus weren’t all that disturbed by the moon.
"The lunar phobic behaviour observed is possibly seasonal and the pygmy loris may be more active on bright nights during the wet season when temperatures are higher and the forest provides denser vegetation cover," according to the research.
"It has been suggested that highly insectivorous nocturnal primates will be more lunar philic (moon loving) because moonlight improves their hunting success," the researchers say.
"Although animals in our site were frequently observed to catch and consume arthropods, and a high proportion of invertebrates were found in scats throughout the study period, our data did not indicate that this resource was important enough to select for lunar philia in the local population at the site," the scientists report.
Social stress may affect people not just emotionally but also at the genetic level, a recent Duke study suggests.
Jenny Tung, visiting assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology, studied 49 female rhesus macaques to investigate the effect of social ranking on health. She found a link between social rank and immune system gene expression such that she could predict social status based on gene expression data with 80 percent accuracy.
These findings, published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may be useful in analyzing the effects social stress has on the human immune system, Tung noted.
Low-ranking macaques had higher levels of stress, resulting in greater gene expression in genes associated with the immune system. The greater gene expression—the transfer of information from an organism’s genes to its physical appearance—resulted in higher levels of inflammation in the immune system, which can make low-ranking macaques more susceptible to becoming sick.
“We found that genes that tended to be turned up higher in low-ranking individuals were related to the immune system about twice as often as one would expect just by chance,” Tung said. “This dovetails with some evidence that people have been recording for some time that social stress tends to be associated with high rates of inflammation.”
These low-ranked macaques can face long-term harassment, Tung said. Other macaques may steal their food or make faces at them. The stability of the social hierarchies means this harassment causes chronic stress, which led to the elevated levels of immune system gene expression.
The study was developed for female macaques only because their social ranking depends on when they are introduced to a new environment, whereas males’ social ranking is determined by competition, Tung said. It is easier to manipulate the social status of female macaques because their introduction to a new environment can be controlled.