Thursday 28th of January 2021

it is our ethical duty to stop our destruction of species... biodiversity is our responsibility...


The world's largest gorillas have been pushed to the brink of extinction by a surge of illegal hunting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are now critically endangered.

The eastern gorillas, also known as Gorilla beringei, are the largest great apes in the world.

But with just 5,000 left on Earth, they now face the risk of disappearing completely, officials said at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) global conference in Honolulu.

Four out of six of the Earth's great apes are now critically endangered, "only one step away from going extinct," including the eastern gorilla, western gorilla, Bornean orangutan and Sumatran orangutan, said the IUCN's latest update to its Red List.


thank you...

I'd like to thank the photographer of the picture at top to which I have added some words and my logo of etics. I have not been able to find his name... In the picture, he has shown what we often miss — our anthropomorphic humanity in other species. By this I mean that even those apes have feelings, emotions and reactions, including compassion and reflection — and curiosity.

We are barely cleverer, mostly by default because had we not been a tad more clever, we would not have survived the natural environment that we are now destroying as if we hated our origins — we, the naked apes...


And by the way we are covered with hair, but not fur... only a small point.

save the beasts...

Banks are dishing out millions to build a planet-frying coal plant, right next door to the mega forest that’s home to some of the last Bengal Tigers. It’s the worst example of our disconnection from nature and corporate greed gone mad, but we can stop it

After a leaked UN report slammed the project in Bangladesh, we went straight to the international banks. Now they’re scrambling to figure out what to do and how to protect their brands from a global scandal. If we turn up the pressure on JPMorgan, Crédit Agricole and others, we can make this so toxic that they’ll quit the project for good

Both JPMorgan and Crédit Agricole have ditched similar projects in the past. Let’s build a million-strong cry to save the tigers and convince their CEOs to pull out. 

Click here to save the last tigers

the careless humans...

The impact of climate change on threatened and endangered wildlife has been dramatically underreported, with scientists calling on policymakers to act urgently to slow its effects before entire species are lost for good.

New analysis has found that nearly half (47%) of the mammals and nearly a quarter (24.4%) of the birds on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species are negatively impacted by climate change – a total of about 700 species. Previous assessments had said only 7% of listed mammals and 4% of birds were impacted.

“Many experts have got these climate assessments wrong – in some cases, massively so,” said Dr James Watson of the University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society, who co-authored the paper with scientists in the UK, Italy and the US.


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see image t top...

killing our friends...

Wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in less than 50 years, according to a major report by the conservation group WWF.

The report says this "catastrophic decline" shows no sign of slowing.

And it warns that nature is being destroyed by humans at a rate never seen before.

Wildlife is "in freefall" as we burn forests, over-fish our seas and destroy wild areas, says Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF.

"We are wrecking our world - the one place we call home - risking our health, security and survival here on Earth. Now nature is sending us a desperate SOS and time is running out."

What do the numbers mean?

The report looked at thousands of different wildlife species monitored by conservation scientists in habitats across the world.

They recorded an average 68% fall in more than 20,000 populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish since 1970.


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my friends, the old chimps...

Social selectivity in aging wild chimpanzees

Old chimp friends

As humans age, we prioritize established positive friendships over the new, but risky, socializing we do when we are young. It has been hypothesized that this shift may come as our own sense of mortality kicks in. Rosati et al. analyzed a rare, long-term dataset on social bonds among male chimpanzees and found a very similar focus on old and positive friendships (see the Perspective by Silk). Though there is evidence of some sense of time among nonhuman animals, it seems unlikely that they have the same impending sense of mortality that we experience; thus, these results suggest that a different, and deeper, mechanism may be at play.

Social bonds have adaptive consequences over the life span; strong social support enhances health, longevity, and biological fitness (1, 2). In humans, old age is characterized by increasing selectivity for positive, meaningful social interactions, manifesting as a cluster of behavioral and cognitive features we call the human social aging phenotype. First, older adults across societies have smaller yet more emotionally fulfilling social networks than do younger adults, owing to an increasing focus on existing close relationships rather than new relationships (3–6). Second, older adults exhibit a positivity bias, showing greater attention to and memory for positive versus negative socioemotional information and reduced engagement in tension and conflicts (7–9). The origin of this social aging pattern is therefore a central issue both for evolutionary perspectives on the life course and for promoting well-being in old age.

Socioemotional selectivity theory, which argues that the central process generating life-span shifts in sociality is an explicit sense of future personal time and mortality (10, 11), has emerged as the most influential explanation for the human social aging phenotype. The core idea is that when individuals perceive the future as expansive (as in youth) they prioritize building new relationships and interacting with many partners, whereas when time is perceived as short (as in old age) people focus on existing, important social ties. In support of this view, older adults perceive a more limited future than younger adults; people who anticipate curtailed time horizons, because of an illness diagnosis, natural disaster, or a geographic move, generally exhibit preferences similar to those of older adults; and experimental manipulation of future time perspective shifts socioemotional biases (9, 11–13). However, some evidence indicates that changes in socioemotional goals can be independent of future time perspective (14, 15). Thus, the role of shortened time perspectives in social selectivity during aging is currently unclear.

Here, we use a comparative approach to provide a test of the origins of human social aging patterns. Socioemotional selectivity theory proposes that changes in social goals and behavior during aging are causally dependent on an awareness of shortened personal time horizons. However, there is no evidence that any other species are aware of their own future mortality or can imagine far-off future experiences in this rich way. Some nonhumans do engage in forms of future-oriented planning, but only in short-term food acquisition contexts, such as saving a tool to access food hours or days later, and some of these instances may actually recruit lower-level cognitive mechanisms (16, 17). Even verbal young children show limitations in future-oriented cognition and can struggle to imagine their future selves (18). Accordingly, if this kind of subjective future time perspective is causally necessary to generate the human social aging phenotype, then other animals should not show these characteristic shifts.

An alternative possibility is that the human social aging phenotype is mediated by proximate mechanisms that are more widely shared across species. Cost-benefit trade-offs about whether to be social and with whom to socialize are critical for many animals. As aging imposes new constraints due to declines in physical condition, immunological health, and social status (19–22), older individuals might need to adjust their social choices. Accordingly, socioemotional selectivity in humans could represent an adaptive response where older adults focus on important social relationships that provide benefits and avoid interactions that may have negative consequences. If so, other animals might also show social selectivity without necessarily possessing sophisticated future-oriented cognition like humans.

We test these alternatives by examining whether the key characteristics of the human social aging phenotype are shared with wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Chimpanzees are an ideal comparand because they are one of humans’ two closest living relatives; have long life spans of 50 to 60 years in the wild; and form flexible, long-term social bonds. They have a high degree of choice about who to interact with owing to their large fission-fusion societies, which comprise temporary and fluid subgroups (“parties”) that can range from one chimpanzee to almost an entire community. Our data come from Kibale National Park, Uganda, where we have documented social interactions in a community of wild chimpanzees on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years, providing longitudinal observations that are unparalleled in human research.

Using 78,000 hours of observations made between 1995 and 2016, we analyzed the social interactions of 21 male chimpanzees ranging in age from 15 (when males are physically mature and enter the adult hierarchy) to 58 years, with an average of 10.6 years of data per individual and 141.6 observation days per year. We examined males because they exhibit stronger bonds and more frequent social interactions than females, who are relatively asocial (23, 24). We used mixed models to test the importance of age in the longitudinal data. We always controlled for an individual’s dominance rank, which has a pervasive effect on chimpanzee social interactions and declines in old age (19, 25). Few males had adult maternal brothers, so we did not account for kinship, but we did control for other predictors such as year or female presence, when appropriate for the social metric (see supplementary materials).

We first examined whether older chimpanzees focused their social interactions on important partners, a key signature of the human social aging phenotype. To characterize relationships, we used a spatial proximity metric indexing the time that pairs of individuals spend near each other. Close proximity is an important marker of affiliation in primates, as it is a prerequisite for other cooperative interactions, such as grooming, and signals social comfort (1). We indexed social preferences by examining how often two individuals were within 5 m of each other when in the same party. We then categorized male-male dyads as “mutual friends” (both showed a preference for sitting near the other, above their individual average rates of association), “one-sided friends” (one individual showed this preference, but their partner did not), or “nonfriends” (neither individual preferred to associate with the other). Thus, mutual friendships are reciprocated, whereas one-sided friendships are not. We found that the number of mutual friends increased with age [χ2 = 6.89, degrees of freedom (df) = 1, P < 0.01] (Fig. 1A), whereas one-sided friendships declined (χ2 = 9.76, df = 1, P < 0.005) (Fig. 1B). For example, 15-year-olds had an average of 2.1 one-sided friends and 0.9 mutual friends, whereas 40-year-olds had 0.6 one-sided friends and 3.0 mutual friends. Age and dominance had independent effects on relationships (see supplementary materials); higher rank and older age both predicted more mutual friendships but fewer one-sided friendships.



Read more:

Science  23 Oct 2020:

Vol. 370, Issue 6515, pp. 473-476




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