Photo of humanzee?
In Part 1 I posted about recent claims by Dr. Gordon Gallup that in the late 1920s a primate lab in Florida impregnated a female chimp with human male sperm and that the result was a living human-chimp hybrid. Due to moral concerns and the religious attitude of the US at that time and because of several moral questions the scientists involved in that endeavor terminated the infant a few weeks after it was born. I also posted about Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s program to create a human-ape hybrid under the direction of Dr Ilya Ivanov and that we still don’t know for certain if that program was successful or not. In this post I will address some of the “logistics” involved in creating hybrids in general and specifically human-ape hybrids.
Ape-Human Chromosome Comparison Chart
In the above graphic we see the chromosome comparisons of Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimps, and Humans. As you can see there are many similarities but there are also some differences. The similarities are due to humans and apes sharing a common ancestor about 7 mya (million years ago). As we diverged from that common ancestor some of our chromosomes changed as did those of the other primates so there are still similarities we share but there are some differences too. Continue Reading
We’ve successfully cloned several animals in the past beginning with the famous “Dolly” (a sheep) back in 1996. After that we cloned mice, cows, pigs, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, and who knows what else. Now today comes news out of China that scientists there have successfully cloned two primates. They are reported to be healthy and they are long-tailed macaques. The same technique used to clone Dolly was employed with the two primates cloning process. Of course the scientists who succeeded in this feat say they have no intention of cloning a human but I suspect the Communist government in Beijing may have a different opinion which these scientist will soon come around to. After all, the world’s military’s have made no secret of wanting super-soldiers!
So it now appears that the last barrier has been breached and human cloning is up next, most likely. I’m sure some scientists somewhere will do it. Of course, the cover story is that cloning will help humans in medical research to find cures for diseases which of course it will but I worry about the other uses for this technology that are not so benevolent. Human nature tends to be one of when we know how to do something we do it despite the moral consequences we might face. I’m sure this story is not over…..yet…but is just beginning 🙂
As some of you know one of my big interests is Primatology. Yes I LOVE apes, monkeys, and the whole 9 yards! 🙂 Back in 2016 an article appeared in the international weekly science journal “Nature” reporting that monkeys “flake stone tools.”
White Headed Capuchin Monkey from Costa Rica
We humans like to think ourselves unique but that might not altogether be the case after all. As the article mentions “Sharp edged stone flakes, struck from larger cores, are the primary evidence for the earliest stone technology.” That’s very true but monkeys seem to be right behind us! It has been observed that the Capuchin monkey in Brazil deliberately breaks stones producing sharp-edged flakes and cores that appear to be intentionally produced hominin tools! The article concludes, “The production of archaeologically visible cores and flakes is therefore no longer unique to the human lineage…”.
But that’s not all. Also in 2016 “Nature” reported that Brazil’s Capuchin monkeys may have used worn stones as stone tools hundreds of years ago and if so then this provides some of the earliest evidence for stone tool use by a species other than humans or chimps!
The oldest stone tools (Oldowan tools) made by ancient human relatives date back possibly to 3 mya but the archaeological record for other primates and stone tool use is scant. What we do know is that the Bearded Capuchins are known to use stone anvils to remove the nasty tasting skin of cashews among other things. When researchers from the University of Oxford excavated a small area in a national park in Brazil in which Capuchins live they found no less than 69 buried stones with cut marks seen on anvil stones. This excavation was led by Michael Haslam and when C14 dating was employed it gave a date of 750 years ago! So Capuchins have been producing and using stone tools for a while now. Continue Reading