Microbes may have played role in shaping ape, human evolution
BY AMY MCDERMOTT2:00PM, JULY 21, 2016
Microbes may have played a role in making us, us. A new study shows similar patterns in the evolution of gut bacteria and the primates they live in, suggesting that germs and apes could have helped shaped one another.
For at least 10 million years, bacteria have been handed down from the common ancestor of humans and African apes. As apes split into separate species, so did the microbes inside them, researchers report July 22 in Science. Now, relationships between gut bacterial species mirror the family tree of gorillas, humans, bonobos and chimpanzees.
Human Conflict is Pushing Gorillas Into Extinction – What You Can Do to Save These Animals
In 1996, the small African country of Rwanda invaded it’s neighbor to the west, Zaire, the brutal result of mass genocides and killings perpetrated by extremists who had been given safe haven within Zaire’s borders. This bloody infiltration would culminate into the Congolese War, which claimed the lives of five million people, embroiled several prominent African countries, and pitted two rivaling cultures against each other. While the war officially ended in 2003, even now there are local skirmishes in remote parts of Zaire, which has since been renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). But long before the war that tore apart the heart of Africa, the DRC languished under the control of a despot ruler, who pocketed the country’s funds and let the local government and infrastructure fall to pieces.
South Africa is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination and one of the most popular reasons for visiting is the spectacular wildlife. Along with the ‘Big Five’, South Africa is also home to an abundance of mammals, spectacular birdlife and our coasts are visited by dolphins, seals and migrating whales.
However, despite all this wildlife living free in our forests, plains, mountains and coasts there is a disturbing number of facilities offering tourists the opportunity to get ‘hands on’ with wild animals. One can pet lion, tiger and serval cubs, and walk with adult lions and cheetahs. Take a ride on the back of an elephant or even an ostrich, feed monkeys and lemurs or drape a large and dangerous snake around your neck. The list appears to get longer each year with more wild animals being added to the list of those you can ‘cuddle’.
One cannot deny that any interaction with an animal, especially a wild one is an exhilarating experience leaving us feeling quite…special. But is it really ‘special’?
On the 1st of March 2015 at 11am the Introductory #Instawalk of the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance will take place at Birds of Eden. Being our very first #Instawalk we hope to have a memorable occasion. We will only be able to host 20 enthusiastic #Instagrammers so contact Vijver on firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to get your name on the list. The winner of our #InstawalkSV will receive a one year membership for them and a companion worth R1500. This membership allows you and your companion to visit Monkeyland, Birds of Eden as well as Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary as many times as you like during a 365 day period! This membership will open doors to amazing #Wildlifephotography moments that will leave you breathless and who knows…maybe even put you on the map as a serious #WildlifeInstagrammer. We are hoping to have annual #InstawalkSV throughout the year and will keep interested parties updated on the development of them. So what are you waiting for get your name on the list ASAP!