(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists assure: monkeys all over the world climb down from trees, stand up on two legs to walk on the ground. Like our distant ancestors. History repeats itself
Here, a new twist
Films from the Planet of the Apes cycle cease to be fantastic. And in real life, the evolution of our smaller brothers in mind, as they say, is evident. Recently, scientists reported that they noticed one of its most convincing signs.
Working in nature reserves and wildlife almost all over the world, they came to the conclusion that monkeys are increasingly climbing down from trees to walk on the ground.
On two legs! In fact, the current smaller brothers in mind repeat the path of our distant ancestors. And it is not at all excluded that someday they will also become human beings.
Darwin would have been delighted. Yes, and it’s time for us to calm down, otherwise we don’t find a place for ourselves. We are perplexed.
And we understand inquisitive schoolchildren who tormented and continue to torment teachers and parents with “stupid questions”, they say, how is it? If monkeys once climbed the evolutionary ladder in the distant past, then why are they sitting under it now?
But it turns out that the monkeys are already standing on two legs and climbing at least the first step of that very ladder. Or even higher. Although they do not advertise their achievements.
A serious scientific article by biologists who discovered the increasing frequency of monkey walks recently appeared in the authoritative journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America – PNAS).
Its authors are as many as 117 people from institutes and universities around the world. Global exploration on a scale never seen before.
Scientists have made conclusions after 150 thousand (!) hours of observations in 60 different habitats of monkeys – those that usually live in trees.
They followed not only anthropoids – like chimpanzees or orangutans, but also less, it would seem, “advanced”. Like monkeys. In total, 47 different species of primates fell into the field of view of scientists. All, including monkeys, showed their clear predisposition to walking.
But that suddenly the monkeys embarked on the path of progress, so to speak? Why climbed onto a land full of predators and other dangers?
Scientists offer an explanation: need kicked out. The environment is to blame, and to some extent we are human beings.
“Humanity is destroying the habitat of monkeys, as a result of global warming, the climate is changing,” the authors of the study emphasize – “the increase in land use by monkeys is associated with numerous environmental factors.”
That is, there are fewer trees, and therefore natural shelters from the heat, as well as fruits that monkeys usually eat. And you have to eat.
So you have to go in search of some other edible. Often overgrown families – a kind of tribes. Sometimes travelers do not disdain the meat of small animals. And even their own kind.
Prediction: the monkeys will move on. More scientifically, the scientists write: “Our results show that as human impacts on habitat and climate worsen, species already living in hot places are more likely to shift to more land use.”
The time will come, monkeys and dwellings will begin to build themselves. Or settle in caves.
Or maybe people are not to blame
However, there is evidence that the evolution of monkeys started for reasons beyond our control. And by no means do people who destroy the environment provoke it. Although they may be encouraged.
Anthropologists from University College London (UCL) spent 15 months studying bonobo chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) living in the Issa River Valley in western Tanzania.
There – in Africa – there is enough dense forest, shade and fruit. But chimpanzees walk a lot spend 85 percent of their time on two legs.
They walk not only on the ground, but also on horizontal tree trunks. The time has come? Some natural “alarm clock” rang? Like 4 million years ago, the ancestors of people who left the trees.
Primatologists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and their many colleagues around the world are baffled by the strange behavior of monkeys from Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast, who gather from time to time in small groups and throw stones at tree trunks.
Scientists have seriously suggested that primates, having evolved, came up with some kind of religion for themselves. Someone is being worshiped – someone who they think is enclosed in a tree. Western media liked the idea. “We are present at the birth of religion among the monkeys!” some have concluded.
In fact, in the actions of our smaller brothers in mind, one can discern elements of some kind of cult rite in which a hollow tree participates. Males bring stones weighing from 200 grams to 17 kilograms to him, calm down, as if meditating, and then, with screams and squeals, throw stones into the hollow or into the tree itself.
They drop and leave. “Sanctuaries” have been found with dozens of stones inside or nearby.
Some time later, colleagues, not so mystical, put forward another hypothesis, which was already presented in the journal Science.
The essence of the hypothesis: the ritual is associated with sounds – with those that chimpanzees extract when stones hit a tree. Extracted specially. Out of love for art, as they say. Monkeys just like these “booms”.
In other words, by throwing stones at trees, chimpanzees play music.
In the journal Folia Primatologica, primatologists from the University of Warsaw, along with numerous German colleagues, reported nothing less than a civilization of chimpanzees they discovered in the Bili Uere Reserve in the rainforests of northern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The study went on for almost 12 years. During this time, scientists have found and described numerous tools made by monkeys for mining and cooking.
Civilized chimpanzees have their own tool for each “product”. In order to harvest and collect different kinds of ants, they make sticks of different lengths and thicknesses. Special strong twigs are removed from the nests of edible bees.
They crush snails, turtles and pieces of termite mounds – rub them with special hard “graters”. Monkeys extract food from the earth with the help of digging sticks. Almost like primitive people. Well, why not evolution?
And here is an even more convincing example: monkeys do not gnaw nuts, but chop them, finding stones of a suitable shape. Protect teeth. “We have entered the Stone Age,” scientists joke.
But it was not yesterday that our smaller brothers in mind flashed their quick wits. From an article that British, Canadian and American scientists once published in the same PNAS journal, it follows that African chimpanzees began to use stone tools more than 4 thousand years ago.
Brazilian capuchins – at least 3 thousand years ago. Evidence of excavations carried out by “monkey” archaeologists.
Competitors are coming
Who knows, suddenly nature really started another attempt to turn apes into humans? He’s preparing for our shift. Without asking. We will die out or destroy ourselves out of stupidity. And the Earth will not remain without intelligent beings. For some reason they seem to be needed.
By the way, about the timing. It is not worth waiting for a “second shift” in the near future. On the first, known to us, attempt to create people, nature spent several million years – at least five. It is quite logical to assume that the second attempt will be just as long. But it looks like it’s a start.
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