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Amazing Primates
« on: May 18, 2008, 04:39:37 AM »
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Koko


 In 1972, Stanford graduate student Francine Patterson began teaching American Sign Language to a female lowland gorrila named Koko. In only a few weeks, she was making the correct signs for food and drink.


Known as the world’s first "speaking" gorilla, Koko currently boasts a vocabulary of more than 1,000 signs and understand roughly 2,000 spoken words. She still struggles with the occasional word, though. Unfortunately, one of them happens to be "people," which she tends to substitute with "nipple," thus explaining how she became the defendant in a sexual harassment case against some caretakers a few months back (seriously).

When not signing or pushing the envelope of political incorrectness,koko enjoys playing on her computer. In 1998, she even logged onto America Online and fielded questions from the public through an interpreter. During that chat, fans were able to learn what pet Koko would like to have ("dog"), the first-hand gossip on what she thought about the male gorilla brought in to be her mate ("frown bad bad bad"), and what a 310-pound gorilla really wants ("candy, give me"). But such mindless banter clearly wasn’t enough to hold the attention of a genius gorilla. Koko soon grew bored with the chat (calling it "obnoxious") and wandered off to play with her dolls.



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Kanzi

In the 1980s, researchers at Georgia State University began studying the bonobo chimpanzees’ ability to understand and mimic human language. They started out with a bonobo trainee named Matata, but even after several years, they weren’t able to make much headway with her. Matata’s adopted baby son Kanzi, however, was a different story. Turns out, the young chimp picked up quite bit (more than his mommy, certainly) by accompanying Matata to "school" every day. In 2002, researchers began noticing that Kanzi was able to express his needs using four distinct sounds that corresponded to specific objects or commands (banana, juice, grapes, and yes). While this particular brand of beat poetry isn’t necessarily stimulating, the very suggestion that primates employ an audible "language" is a direct affront to the linguistic experts who claim they don’t have the marbles to do so.Besides accomplishing the academic kiss-off "Nim" Chimpsky could only dream about, Kanzi has established himself a true primate prodigy. In addition to "bonobo," he understands between 2,000 and 3,000 spoken words in English. He even communicates with his tutor, psychologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, by punching abstract symbols on a special keyboard. While most Americans still can’t bring themselves to learn a second language, Kanzi is now dabbling in three.


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3. Indah and Azy

While chimpanzees and gorillas are puttering about in English classes, orangutan siblings Azy and Indah are working on something more akin to studying for the LSAT. At the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo exhibit, the "Think Tank," primates are taught to practice more abstract ways of thinking, often working with logic puzzles and communicating via symbols.

Indah, for instance, learned to combine symbols representing verbs and nouns to create simple commands, such as "open bag." She was also a (relative) math whiz, having mastered the numbers one, two , and three. Before her death in 2004, her trainers were well on their way to teaching her how to assign numerical values to objects - the first step in monetary exchange. (She was so close to being able to go shoe shopping!)

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Oliver

Oliver was a bald-headed, Spock-eared chimpanzee that, besides playing bartender, also walked on two legs, used a toilet, and loved watching TV. For most of his life, Oliver’s various trainers paraded him around at carnivals and on television shows as a freak. But things changed for Oliver in 1975. A Manhattan lawyer who caught his act decided the chimp was so human-like that he just might be the elusive "missing link" between man and beast and put Oliver through a battery of scientific tests to prove it. Sure enough, an exam conducted in Japan indicated that oliver had 47 chromosomes - more than a human’s 46, and less than a chimp’s 48. The results were more than enough to get the press and the public excited. When subsequent exams proved inconclusive, though, the American media lost interest. But in 1996, researchers test Oliver again. This time, they definitively concluded that he had 48 chromosomes, making him all chimp. He wasn’t the missing link after all, but scientists still concede that he probably was the Albert Einstein of chimpanzees.


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Hellion

You’ve probably wanted a "helper monkey" ever since you saw Mojo drinking beer on the couch with Homer Simpson. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to get one in real-life. But bear in mind, the fantasy wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for hellion, the first monkey trained to lend humans a helping hand (and tail).

In 1977, educational psychologist Mary Joan Willard started training capuchins - small, dexterous tree monkeys commonly seen with people such as organ grinders and David Schwimmer - to assist disabled humans. Just two years later, Willard placed her first trainee, Hellion, with a quadriplegic named Robert Foster, and it proved a startling success. In fact, the pair is still together today. using a mouth-operated laser Foster is able to point out what he wants Hellion to do. The monkey’s tasks range from combing Foster’s hair to locking the doors to operating the stereo. Hellion is even able to clean the house using a tiny vacuum.

Today, Hellion is a role model for other simian aides. At the 6,000-square-foot Helping Hands training center in Boston, young capuchins attended classes five to six times a week for a full year before receiving their first assignments. To date, the institute has placed more than 93 monkeys with disabled clients.


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"Nim" Chimpsky


Naturally, zoologist around the world became eager to prove him wrong. Enter Neam Chimpsky ("Nim" for short), the chimpanzee designed to be a stiff middle finger to the doubtful Chomsky. In the mid 1970s, trainers did everything they could to teach American Sign Language to Nim, but the chimp only mastered 125 signs. Apparently, his lingual development was sabotaged by his own one-track mind. his most advanced utterance was, "Give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you."

Nim might have failed to grasp the concepts of syntax and sentence structure, but he wasn’t a total disappointment. Turns out, Nim was a decent abstract artist. Working mostly with a mix of magic markers and crayons, he produced works of art that critics describe as childlike and playful.

He would often work for weeks in one color, then switch to another, allowing his drawings to highlight the transition between phases. Nim died in 2000. Today, his portfolio of roughly 200 drawings is valued at $25,000. via : http://lol-times.blogspot.com/2007/11/top-10-famous-monkeys-in-science.html


Who's your favorite?

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hubag bohol

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Re: Amazing Primates
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 06:24:26 PM »
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/aimabelles/6.jpg[/img]
"Nim" Chimpsky


Naturally, zoologist around the world became eager to prove him wrong. Enter Neam Chimpsky ("Nim" for short), the chimpanzee designed to be a stiff middle finger to the doubtful Chomsky. In the mid 1970s, trainers did everything they could to teach American Sign Language to Nim, but the chimp only mastered 125 signs. Apparently, his lingual development was sabotaged by his own one-track mind. his most advanced utterance was, "Give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you."

Nim might have failed to grasp the concepts of syntax and sentence structure, but he wasn’t a total disappointment. Turns out, Nim was a decent abstract artist. Working mostly with a mix of magic markers and crayons, he produced works of art that critics describe as childlike and playful.

He would often work for weeks in one color, then switch to another, allowing his drawings to highlight the transition between phases. Nim died in 2000. Today, his portfolio of roughly 200 drawings is valued at $25,000.

Mao diay nga weak sija sa language, kay abstract reasoning diay ang ijang forte... ;D

...than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln


hubag bohol

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Re: Amazing Primates
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 06:34:48 PM »
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/aimabelles/1-2.jpg[/img]
Koko


 In 1972, Stanford graduate student Francine Patterson began teaching American Sign Language to a female lowland gorrila named Koko. In only a few weeks, she was making the correct signs for food and drink.


Known as the world’s first "speaking" gorilla, Koko currently boasts a vocabulary of more than 1,000 signs and understand roughly 2,000 spoken words. She still struggles with the occasional word, though. Unfortunately, one of them happens to be "people," which she tends to substitute with "nipple," thus explaining how she became the defendant in a sexual harassment case against some caretakers a few months back (seriously).

When not signing or pushing the envelope of political incorrectness,koko enjoys playing on her computer. In 1998, she even logged onto America Online and fielded questions from the public through an interpreter. During that chat, fans were able to learn what pet Koko would like to have ("dog"), the first-hand gossip on what she thought about the male gorilla brought in to be her mate ("frown bad bad bad"), and what a 310-pound gorilla really wants ("candy, give me"). But such mindless banter clearly wasn’t enough to hold the attention of a genius gorilla. Koko soon grew bored with the chat (calling it "obnoxious") and wandered off to play with her dolls.


Koko will certainly make a good candidate for Congress... ;D

hubag bohol

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Re: Amazing Primates
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2010, 06:46:30 PM »
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff19/aimabelles/2-1.jpg[/img]
Kanzi

In the 1980s, researchers at Georgia State University began studying the bonobo chimpanzees’ ability to understand and mimic human language. They started out with a bonobo trainee named Matata, but even after several years, they weren’t able to make much headway with her. Matata’s adopted baby son Kanzi, however, was a different story. Turns out, the young chimp picked up quite bit (more than his mommy, certainly) by accompanying Matata to "school" every day. In 2002, researchers began noticing that Kanzi was able to express his needs using four distinct sounds that corresponded to specific objects or commands (banana, juice, grapes, and yes). While this particular brand of beat poetry isn’t necessarily stimulating, the very suggestion that primates employ an audible "language" is a direct affront to the linguistic experts who claim they don’t have the marbles to do so.Besides accomplishing the academic kiss-off "Nim" Chimpsky could only dream about, Kanzi has established himself a true primate prodigy. In addition to "bonobo," he understands between 2,000 and 3,000 spoken words in English. He even communicates with his tutor, psychologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, by punching abstract symbols on a special keyboard. While most Americans still can’t bring themselves to learn a second language, Kanzi is now dabbling in three.

A linguist chimp prodigy that can put a good many pretenders to shame... ;D




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