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Planet of the Apes [ENG/ITA] by spaghettiscience

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· @spaghettiscience · (edited)
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Planet of the Apes [ENG/ITA]
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> *When you meet chimps you meet individual personalities. When a baby chimp looks at you it's just like a human baby. We have a responsibility to them.* 
**Jane Goodall**.

As **Spaghettiscience** we are very interested in passions of all group members to make room for individual knowledge and enrich each other. Today is time to talk about one of these passions, which occupied three years of the university career of one of us: Primates. Although all the species of primates are, in their own way, extravagant and sometimes very particular, none excluded, the study that was carried out (which we had already discussed in one of our previous articles) had as its undisputed protagonists chimpanzees (*Pan Troglodytes*) and today we will talk about this species. To quickly recall, the research consisted of observing a chimpanzee colony in semi-freedom condition with special infrared cameras that give an image of the heat distribution on a body. The aim was to evaluate the temperature distribution and its variation in situations of stress or intense competition. Being a totally non-invasive technique, the observation sessions were carried out remotely allowing the specimens to express a practically complete behavioral pattern in relation to their semi-freedom condition. This has made it possible to learn many things and to appreciate many of the characteristics that make this species unique in its kind.

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> *Quando incontri uno scimpanzé, incontri una personalità individuale. Quando un cucciolo di scimpanzé ti guarda, è come se fosse un bambino. Abbiamo una responsabilità verso di lui.* **Jane Goodall**.

Come **Spaghettiscience** siamo molto interessati alle passioni di tutti i membri del gruppo per dare spazio alle conoscenze individuali e arricchirci a vicenda. Oggi è il momento di parlare di una di queste passioni, che ha occupato ben tre anni della carriera universitaria di uno di noi: i primati. Sebbene tutte le specie di primati siano, a modo loro, stravaganti e talvolta molto particolari, nessuna esclusa, lo studio che è stato effettuato (del quale avevamo già parlato in uno dei nostri articoli precedenti) ha avuto come protagonisti indiscussi gli scimpanzé (*Pan Troglodytes*) e oggi parleremo di questa specie. Per riportare velocemente alla memoria, la ricerca consisteva nell’osservare una colonia di scimpanzè in semilibertà con delle particolari telecamere a infrarossi che restituiscono un’immagine della distribuzione del calore su un corpo. Lo scopo era valutare la distribuzione della temperatura e la sua variazione in situazioni di stress o competizione intensa. Essendo una tecnica totalmente non invasiva, le sessioni di osservazione venivano effettuate a distanza permettendo agli esemplari di esprimere un pattern comportamentale praticamente completo in relazione alla loro condizione di semilibertà. Questo ha reso possibile imparare tante cose e di apprezzare molte delle caratteristiche che rendono questa specie unica nel suo genere. 

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*Pan troglodytes* is a species belonging to the catarrhine primates (or apes of the old world, arboreal and terrestrial forms) that separate about 40 million years ago from primates platirrini (or monkeys of the new world, exclusively arboreal forms). Belonging to anthropomorphic monkeys, the chimpanzee is our closest relative among all living things, sharing more than 98% of DNA with humans. This species lives in communities composed of several tens of specimens and adapts to different natural habitats populating a very large area, but discontinuous, of equatorial Africa and territories from sea level up to 2800 meters of altitude, mainly forests.

A fascinating aspect concerns the communication strategies that can be divided into two categories: voice messages and visual messages. The chimpanzees, together with the Bonobos, present the widest range and finesse of visual communications, however, it is not always so immediate to understand their meaning and despite the notable similarity with human beings, an expression in man can take on a completely different meaning in the chimpanzee. For example, what on the face of a human being would be interpreted as a smile, is actually a manifestation of tension and fear, just as a fixed and intense gaze represents a challenge or protracted lips, as if to give a kiss, a request. Sometimes facial expressions are combined with a specific gesture to reinforce the concept.

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*Pan troglodytes* è una specie appartenente ai primati catarrini (o scimmie del vecchio mondo, forme arboricole e terrestri) che si separano circa 40 milioni di anni fa da quelli platirrini (o scimmie del nuovo mondo, forme esclusivamente arboricole). Appartenendo alle scimmie antropomorfe, lo scimpanzé è Il nostro parente più prossimo tra tutti gli esseri viventi, condivide con l’uomo più del 98% del DNA. Questa specie vive in comunità composte da diverse decine di esemplari e si adatta ad habitat naturali differenti popolando una zona molto ampia, ma discontinua, dell’Africa equatoriale e territori dal livello del mare fino a 2800 metri di quota, prevalentemente foreste.

Un aspetto affascinante riguarda le strategie di comunicazione che possono essere suddivise in due categorie: i messaggi vocali e quelli visivi. Gli scimpanzé, assieme ai Bonobo, presentano la più vasta gamma e finezza di comunicazioni visive, tuttavia, non sempre è così immediato comprenderne il significato e nonostante la notevole somiglianza con gli esseri umani, un’espressione nell’uomo può assumere tutt’altro significato nello scimpanzé. Per esempio, quello che sul volto di un essere umano verrebbe interpretato come un sorriso, in realtà è una manifestazione di tensione e paura, così come uno sguardo fisso e intenso rappresenta una sfida o labbra protruse, come per dare un bacio, una richiesta. Talvolta alle espressioni facciali viene abbinata una determinata gestualità per rafforzare il concetto. 

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As for facial expressions, this species has a wide range of references that reflect the complexity of the social life that characterizes it. One of the most resounding references is the “gasp-scream" that is normally associated by man to chimpanzees, most commonly emitted by elderly males to maintain contact with the group or by females during travel and in their usual life. A shrieking or screaming chimpanzee is threatened, hunted or physically attacked, while the panting or popping lips often express pleasure. Another way in which they send and transmit messages is through social grooming which consists of the approach of a specimen (groomer) towards a second subject. This approach allows the first individual to move the hair with both hands and lips, removing any residue from the body of the second and, in addition to hygienic importance, plays a fundamental role in social life. In fact, it helps to clarify an individual's position in the hierarchy of domination, strengthens alliances, reduces tensions and changes aggression into a calm attitude.

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Come per le espressioni facciali, questa specie presenta una vasta gamma di richiami che rispecchiano la complessità della vita sociale che la caratterizza. Uno dei richiami più sonori è l’ansito – grido che normalmente viene associato dall’uomo agli scimpanzé, emesso più comunemente dai maschi anziani per mantenere il contatto con il gruppo o dalle femmine durante gli spostamenti e nella vita abituale. Uno scimpanzè che grida o strilla è minacciato, braccato o attaccato fisicamente mentre gli ansiti o lo schiocco delle labbra spesso esprimono piacere. Un altro modo in cui essi inviano e trasmettono messaggi è attraverso il grooming sociale che consiste nell’approccio di un esemplare (groomer) nei confronti di un secondo soggetto. Tale approccio consente al primo individuo di spostare il pelo sia con le mani che con le labbra rimuovendo ogni residuo dal corpo del secondo e, oltre all’importanza igienica, riveste un ruolo fondamentale nella vita sociale. Infatti, contribuisce a chiarire la posizione di un individuo nella gerarchia di dominio, rafforza le alleanze, riduce le tensioni e muta l’aggressività in un atteggiamento pacato. 

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According to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) it is a species classified as Endangered, that is in the process of extinction. This is because it is constantly threatened by the presence of human beings on several fronts, first and foremost that of poaching, with different aims from food, to pet trade, to capture to obtain laboratory animals or defend crops from possible attacks. These factors, which do not depend on the species itself but on humans, are particularly harmful and result in an ever decreasing population density. Then there are intrinsic factors that aggravate the situation if we also consider the low reproductive rate of chimpanzees that does not allow sufficient generational turnover. Another aspect to be reckoned with are diseases, which are particularly interesting since they may be common to those of humans. Last, but not least, tourism and anthropization have a strong impact as the chances of a chimpanzee coming into contact with human beings also increase, making the situations listed above ever more frequent.

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Secondo quanto riportato dalla IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) è una specie classificata come Endangered, ovvero in via d’estinzione. Questo perché̀ costantemente minacciata dalla presenza degli esseri umani su più fronti, primo fra tutti quello del bracconaggio, con diverse finalità da quella alimentare, al pet – trade, alla cattura per ricavare animali da laboratorio o difendere i raccolti da eventuali attacchi. Questi fattori, che non dipendono dalla specie in sè ma dall’uomo, risultano particolarmente dannosi ed esitano in una sempre minore densità di popolazione. Ci sono poi dei fattori intrinseci che aggravano la situazione se si considera anche il basso tasso riproduttivo degli scimpanzé che non consente un sufficiente ricambio generazionale. Un altro aspetto da non sottovalutare sono le malattie, che riscuotono particolare interesse dal momento che possono essere comuni a quelle degli umani. Ultimo aspetto, ma non meno importante, è l’incremento del turismo e dell’antropizzazione che, insieme, aumentano la possibilità di incontro e interferenza tra gli umani e questa specie amplificando l’effetto di tutte le situazioni sopra elencate. 
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### <center>IUCN Red List</center>
<center>![512pxStatus_iucn3.1.svg.png](https://files.steempeak.com/file/steempeak/spaghettiscience/uOCFkZwj-512px-Status_iucn3.1.svg.png)
<sub>EN = Endangered. [Source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IUCN_Red_List).</sub></center>

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### References
* Vitale (2016). [Le scimmie si raccontano? Passioni e dubbi sull’etologia](https://www.libreriauniversitaria.it/scimmie-si-raccontano-passioni-dubbi/libro/9788840019000).
* Goodall, J. (1986). [The Chimpanzees of Gombe - Patterns of Behaviour](https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article-abstract/68/1/201/1041058?redirectedFrom=fulltext).
* Poulsen, J. R. & Clark, C. J. (2004). [Densities, distributions and seasonal movements of gorillas and chimpanzees in swamp forest in northern Congo](https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/B:IJOP.0000019153.50161.58).

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<center>This [post](https://www.narrative.org/post/planet-of-the-apes) has been also published on Narrative.</center>

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@discovery-it ·
<div class="pull-left">https://ipfs.busy.org/ipfs/QmeWFM14Wssgo8muurjdsK8rLqgbRjybnn2L3fBot7My5i
</div><br>Questo post è stato condiviso e votato dal team di curatori di <a href="https://discord.gg/cMMp943"> discovery-it</a>.<hr>
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@derangedvisions ·
Awesome shots! That first shot is pretty epic.
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@spaghettiscience ·
Thank you so much! the first one is my favorite too :)
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@abigail-dantes ·
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bjrlv16cw
I love everything about this post @spaghettiscience &#128525; starting from the quote by Goodall (who I love, love, love) to you mentioning bonobos. Including, of course,  the information you shared about how, despite resembling human's communication  chimps expressions often convey different meanings. Finally, I could not finish this comment without telling you how *amazing* your photos are! My goodness! :D I am in love :)
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@spaghettiscience ·
Thank you so much for appreciating! I must say that primates lend themselves particularly well to being immortalized in the best possible way (but I could be slightly biased;)). It's nice that you caught the educational aspect of the article, I think it's always very intriguing to let people know about situations where not everything is as it seems from our point of view, especially when it comes to animals :)
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@steemstem ·
re-spaghettiscience-planet-of-the-apes-eng-ita-20190713t181148134z
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