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Scientists decode orangutan communication using machine learning

Wendy Erb has spent countless hours studying orangutans in Borneo’s tropical peatland forests in order to learn how male Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) communicate. While doing so, she discovered one undeniable advantage of understanding orangutan language: When the males decide to show off their strength by uprooting nearby trees, nearby scientists need to be careful to not get smooshed....

Originally posted on salon.com

Ape elbows and shoulders evolved differently than monkeys, allowing us to throw with precision

Mary Joy is an undergraduate student at Dartmouth University’s Department of Anthropology — and, additionally, is a climber and runner. Indeed, Joy’s athletic interests have fueled her scientific endeavors in at least one important way: They helped her develop a hypothesis about the evolution of shoulders, elbows and wrists in human beings....

Originally posted on salon.com