May 18, 2004
Lemur Smarts

Duke University is reporting Lemurs are a lot smarter than they were originally given credit for:

Until now, primatologists believed lemurs to be primitive, ancient offshoots of the primate family tree, with far less intelligence than their more sophisticated cousins, monkeys, apes and humans. But at the Duke University Primate Center, with the gentle touch of his nose to a computer screen, the ringtail lemur called Aristides is teaching psychologist Elizabeth Brannon a startling scientific lesson -- that lemurs are, indeed, intelligent creatures.

However, unlike Monkeys or other "higher" primates, Lemurs need motivation. "Will work for food" is apparently their motto.

Also highly instructive in a "meta" sort of way is this Reuters report, which is essentially a rehash taken directly from the press release. Which is, of course, how something like 80% of all news is "reported".

Posted by scott at May 18, 2004 10:56 AM

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I have been to the Duke Primate Center. It is soooooo cool. Lemurs are amazing creatures and seemed highly intelligent to me when we were there.

Posted by: carrie on May 18, 2004 05:51 PM
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