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Colour helped give primates the advantage. Iain Stewart, How to Grow a Planet II: The Power of Flowers, BBC 2012
Flowers drive the evolution of animals, especially primates. ibid.
I cannot accept that we are nothing but thinking primates. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, v Christopher Hitchens, debate New York 30th January 2008
There are almost no important differences between apes and humans. Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue, PBS 1980
Between me and the chimpanzee there is just one difference in an amino acid ... The number of amino acids differences which is a measure of the evolutionary distance between me and the other mammals. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 9/13: Evolution: The Ladder of Creation, BBC 1973
This creature is a true primate and one of the most primitive ones – it’s a lemur. David Attenborough, Life on Earth XII: Life in the Trees ***** BBC 1979
There are over twenty different kinds of lemur. ibid.
With one exception all monkeys sleep at night. ibid.
The Marmosets are the smallest of the monkeys. ibid.
There are about seventy different species of monkey in South America alone. ibid.
The biggest of all the apes … the gorilla. ibid.
Aggressive, violent – and that’s one thing the gorilla is not, and we are. ibid.
Every gorilla in fact has its own unique fingerprint just as we have. ibid.
Grooming like this has been a crucial influence in the development of chimp behaviour. ibid.
You and I belong to the most widespread and dominant species on Earth. We live on the icecaps at the pole and in the tropical jungles at the equator. David Attenborough, Life on Earth XIII: The Compulsive Communicators
Apes had come down from the trees. ibid.
The early people hunted in teams. ibid.
Upright man was in Europe in some numbers. Now the climate of Europe changed. ibid.
Lemurs are true primates, although primitive ones. They belong to the group that includes the moneys, apes and man himself. David Attenborough: Life on Earth: Mammals (revised series), BBC 1979
Marmosets are the smallest of the seventy or so species of monkey in South America. ibid.
Many African monkeys have shown a readiness to come down to the ground. ibid.
There is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than with any other animal I know. Their sight, their hearing, their sense of smell are so similar to ours that they see the world in much the same way as we do. We live in the same sort of social groups with largely permanent family relationships. They walk around on the ground as we do, though they are immensely more powerful than we are. So if there were ever a possibility of escaping the human condition and living imaginatively in another creature’s world, it must be with the gorilla. The male is an enormously powerful creature but he only uses his strength when he is protecting his family and it is very rare that there is violence within the group. So it seems really very unfair that man should have chosen the gorilla to symbolise everything that is aggressive and violent, when that is the one thing that the gorilla is not – and that we are. ibid.
Every gorilla has its unique fingerprints just as we have. ibid.
A very nimble mind and an inquisitive disposition – and that’s exactly what these chimpanzees have got. ibid.
Chimps live in groups of up to fifty. ibid.
Grooming has been a crucial influence in the development of chimp behaviour. ibid.
Baboons live in even bigger groups – up to 150 or so. David Attenborough, The Trials of Life IX: Friends and Rivals, BBC 1990
For baboons it’s not how big you are but who you know that counts. ibid.
The most important thing we share is our big brain. David Attenborough, The Life of Mammals X: Food for Thought, BBC 2002
Chimpanzees: they are clever, social, political creatures. ibid.
All lower primates have such a grooming claw on the hind foot. David Attenborough, Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor, BBC 2009
A hundred and fifty years ago Charles Darwin explained the incredible diversity of life in a new way ... New species appeared as they adapted to a new environment. At the time Darwin’s proposal was controversial. He argued that monkeys, apes and ourselves have a common ancestor – that ancestor we know must have lived hundreds of millions of years ago. ibid.
In the great tree of life one branch of mammals have a particular fascination for us, for we belong to it: Primates. David Attenborough, Life e10: Primates, BBC 2009
Primates can solve difficult problems. Develop thoughts and ideas. And build long-lasting relationships. But most importantly primates remember what they learn during their lives. ibid.
Volcanoes: many of them are still active. And in a region called Hell’s Valley some snow monkeys have found the perfect winter resort. A thermal spa where the water temperature is a blissful 41° Centigrade. ibid.
Gorillas live in stable family groups with just a single leader – a silver-backed male. ibid.
Good communication is one of the hallmarks of primate society. ibid.
Most primates have excellent colour vision. ibid.
Smell is of particular importance to the primates that live in Madagascar: the lemurs. ibid.
Orangs look after their children longer than any other primate except ourselves. ibid.
Brown-tufted capuchins combine manual dexterity with considerable intelligence. And they have learned to use tools: hammer-stones with which to open palm-nuts. Some of the stones are nearly half the weight of the monkey. Without tools, opening these nuts would be an impossible task. Tool-using was a major breakthrough in primate evolution. ibid.
If chimpanzees haven’t learnt particular skills by the age of eight they never seem able to acquire them. ibid.
Chimpanzees can show great kindness and compassion. Sharing. Experimenting. Empathy. Planning. Intelligence. Teaching. And learning. Behaviour so characteristic of us higher primates. We are the most inventive and innovative of all primates. Just one branch of a large and extended family. A family which has refined the ability to develop and pass on individual learning to the next generation ... A family with which we share so much. ibid.
There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens. Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape
There are very few point mutations to distinguish us from the chimps. Horizon: Did Darwin Get It Wrong? BBC 1981
It’s long been known that millions of years ago one special creature walked here. These are fossilised footsteps from the dawn of mankind: the oldest footprints made by our human ancestor. For years scientists have been convinced that whatever creature walked here would hold the key to the biggest mystery of all evolution: why it is human beings have evolved to be so different, so unlike all the other animals. Now a new discovery may just provide the answer to that question. The trouble is, it’s not what anyone had expected. Horizon: The Ape That Took Over the World, BBC 2001
The big mystery of human evolution began ten million years ago ... Back then one kind of creature reigned supreme: the apes. They were everywhere. The Earth really was the planet of the apes. ibid.
It was not the skull of an antelope but of an ape-like creature. And it seemed to have an unusually large brain. The question was, Did it cross the magical cerebral Rubicon of six-hundred cubic centimetres? ibid.
Lucy ... Just older than #1470 ... This ape-like creature had one clear human characteristic. And it wasn’t a big brain ... She walked on two legs, not four ... They found Lucy’s footprints ... Lucy’s brain was just too small. ibid.
Two-legged Lucy was just over three million years old. ibid.
#1470 could be descended from Lucy ... The big brain theory was now in the bin ... We had walked on two legs ... Lucy now became the great iconic fossil. ibid.
For some unknown reason at the end of the planet of the apes there had been an environmental revolution of the planet. ibid.