The British Government has introduced a bill to formally recognize vertebrate animals as sentient beings. This will be a key part of the country’s broader plan to improve the state of animal welfare in the UK. If passed, the new law will put the potential experience of the individual animal,
Researchers have identified the earliest known primate; a small, squirrel-like mammal that lived nearly 66 million years ago, during the twilight of the dinosaurs. The fossils belonging to this most distant human relative were initially uncovered in the Fort Union Formation in northeastern Montana in the 1980s. Consisting of five
Despite being separated by over 5 million years on our respective evolutionary paths, it appears that nearly 90 percent of the gestures human children use to communicate are shared with those used by chimpanzees. Lacking the capacity for complex verbal speech, the great apes employ a non-verbal language made up of hand and body gestures, whereas humans have well-developed part of the brain called "Broca’s area" that enables us to speak. But before a human child learns to speak a language, they appear to use an ancient gestural language that our ancestors used to communicate with one-another.
A recent encounter between a human diver and a humpback whale has illustrated how concern for the safety of others can reach across species. Marine biologist Nan Hauser was on an expedition to the South Pacific’s Cook Islands to study whales for a film that she is making. But while diving with a humpback whale, her 25-tonne subject appeared to be attacking her, at least at first. But what she learned after extricating herself from the leviathan’s advances made her see the whole situation in a completely different light.