Press releases (archive)

Contact: Sandra Jacob (e-mail: info@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<], phone: +49 (0) 341-3550 122)


June 28, 2018: Chimpanzees start using a new tool-use gesture during an alpha male take over

Chimpanzee pant hoots are longer and more salient when males combine it with the "leaf clip" gesture

Similar to humans, non-human primates combine…

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Körber European Science Prize for Svante Pääbo

The director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig is honoured for his pioneering achievements in the field of…

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June 20, 2018: How's that grab you?

International research team investigates intuitive ability of chimpanzees

For decades, scientists assumed that statistical abilities were closely…

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Bridging the gap between human and animal communication

Researchers propose new framework to compare human and nonhuman animal turn-taking skills empirically and to shed further light on the evolutionary…

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Number of wild mountain gorillas exceeds 1,000

The population of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes has more than doubled in the past three decades

A recent census of the critically…

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Chimpanzee calls differ according to context

The need for cooperation may facilitate call diversification

An important question in the evolution of language is what caused animal calls to…

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Savanna chimpanzees suffer from heat stress

Regulating their body temperature to prevent overheating is a burden for chimpanzees living in the African savanna

When humans started settling in…

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Gorillas and chimpanzees: more than expected, but in danger

Massive study finds more gorillas and chimpanzees than previously thought, but 80% are outside the safe havens of protected areas

A study estimates…

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Rhythm crucial to drummed speech

Amazonian Bora people mimic the rhythm of their language for communication over large distances using drums

How can an entire language be mapped onto…

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New standards for ancient protein studies set forth by multi-national group of researchers

The new field of palaeoproteomics, harnessing cutting-edge techniques to analyze ancient proteins, is growing quickly. Researchers set out standards…

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Germany was covered by glaciers 450,000 years ago

Human Evolution

New chronological data for the Middle Pleistocene glacial cycles push back the first glaciation and early human appearance in central Germany by about…

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New insights into the late history of Neandertals

The genomes of five late Neandertals provide insights into Neandertal population history

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary…

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Scientists analyse oldest human DNA from Africa

Researchers find connections from Moroccan Stone Age dwellers to ancient Near Eastern and sub-Saharan African populations

An international team of…

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Homo naledi had wear-resistant molars

The enigmatic 300,000-year-old South African hominin ate a lot of dust, grit, or phytoliths, silica ‘plant stones’

Homo naledi’s relatively taller…

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Neanderthals thought like we do

Human Evolution

As early as 64,000 years ago Iberian Neanderthals created cave paintings

At least 70,000 years ago Homo sapiens used perforated marine shells and…

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Dramatic decline of Bornean orangutans

Global demand for natural resources has reduced the number of orangutans by more than 100,000 animals in the last 16 years

Nearly 50 years of…

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January 24, 2018: Modern human brain organization emerged only recently

Human Evolution

Homo sapiens fossils demonstrate a gradual evolution of the human brain towards its modern globular shape

In a paper researchers from the Max Planck…

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Vengeance is sweet

Even chimpanzees and six-year-old infants want to punish antisocial behaviour

Living together in communities requires mutual cooperation. To achieve…

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Genetics preserves traces of ancient resistance to Inca rule

DNA analysis of present-day populations in the Chachapoyas region of Peru indicates that the original inhabitants were not uprooted en masse by the…

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On the leash!

Max Planck researchers discover the oldest ever images of dogs on leashes

While conducting research in the Saudi Arabian desert, scientists from the…

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Chimpanzees fill another’s knowledge gap

Researchers show that vocalizing in chimpanzees is influenced by social cognitive processes

Adjusting communication to take into account information…

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Chimpanzees and mangabeys interfere with group members' relationships

Bystanders monitor and intervene into grooming interactions of their group members if these threaten their own status or social relationships

Humans do…

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Guinea approves creation of largest sanctuary for the West African chimpanzee

The population of chimpanzees in West Africa has declined by over 80 percent in the last 20 years and in September 2016 they were classified as a…

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Friendliness is more important in a new friend than which group she belongs to

Individual qualities matter more than group qualities when choosing a new friend from an ethnic or religious group other than one’s own

Despite the…

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How easily we tan is influenced by Neandertal DNA

Neandertal DNA influences variation in skin tone and hair colour in people living today

After humans and Neandertals met many thousands of years ago,…

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Researchers sequence a new Neandertal genome

The genome of a European Neandertal allows more Neandertal DNA to be identified in present-day people

The high quality genome of a Neandertal from…

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Capturing the body odours of mammals

Newly adapted method allows researchers to collect body odour samples of mammals in a non-invasive manner

Mammals communicate with each other using…

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Great apes know when they don't know

Chimpanzees and orangutans look for information to fill gaps in their knowledge

It's a familiar problem: you leave the house and while closing the…

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Social disappointment in chimpanzees

Chimpanzees refuse a less-preferred food reward from a human distributor - but not a machine - if they could have been given a better one


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Eavesdropping on the conversation of stem cells

Stem cells communicate at the molecular level – within the cell and with other cells. Stem cell scientists understand this "conversation" of cells…

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Fossil ape skull confirms African origin of apes and humans

Human Evolution

13-million-year-old “Alesi“, a fossil discovered in Kenya, sheds light on ape ancestry

The discovery in Kenya of a remarkably complete fossil ape…

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Award ceremony in Morocco

Human Evolution

Royal award for Max Planck Director

Jean-Jacques Hublin, Director of the Human Evolution Department at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary…

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Anthrax: a hidden threat to wildlife in the tropics

Researchers illuminate the epidemiology of a cryptic pathogen

Anthrax, a disease so far not associated with tropical rain forests, is common in the…

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FOXI3 gene is involved in dental cusp formation

The teeth of hairless dogs teach researchers about the development and evolution of mammalian teeth

Hairless dog breeds differ from other dogs not only…

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In fathering, peace-loving bonobos don't spread the love

Female bonobos often tend to choose the same attractive male for mating, researchers observed

Bonobos have a reputation for being the peaceful,…

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For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another

Apes only provide food to conspecifics that have previously assisted them

For us humans, it goes without saying that we reward others as an indication…

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Chimpanzees are looking for trouble

Territorial aggressions and instigating trespasses pay off among chimpanzees

Many animals cooperate with group members because what they can achieve…

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Bioengineered Livers Mimic Natural Development

Scientists discover that three-dimensional liver buds grown in a dish from stem cells mimic the molecular signatures observed during the natural…

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The first of our kind

Human Evolution

Scientists discover the oldest Homo sapiens fossils at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco

New finds of fossils and stone tools from the archaeological site of…

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Genetic study shakes up the elephant family tree

Using state-of-the-art methods researchers decipher the DNA of ancient elephants and discover their family relations to be quite different


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Extended analytical methods facilitate species conservation

Researchers develop new analytical methods that help them estimate the size of wild animal populations from a distance

Camera traps are a useful means…

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Warfare may explain differences in social structures in chimpanzees and bonobos

Researchers found that chimpanzees associate more with partners of the same sex while bonobos of either sex associate preferentially with females


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DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments

Researchers have developed a new method to retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments – even in the absence of skeletal remains

While there are numerous…

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Leipzig conservationist Julia Cissewski wins "Goldene Bild der Frau" award

Leipzig conservationist Julia Cissewski is one of this year’s five winners of the “Goldene Bild der Frau”, awarded for charitable work by Germany’s…

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Bushmeat consumption decreases during the Ebola epidemic

Household income and knowledge about health risks drive the consumption of wild animal meat in West Africa

New analyses of interview data collected in…

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A newly discovered fossil human cranium from Portugal dated to be 400,000 years old

U-series (U-Th) dating of associated calcite formations constrains the age of the Middle Pleistocene cranium between 390,000 and 436,000 years.


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"It's a miracle that there are still chimpanzees at all"

Interview with primate researcher Christophe Boesch

Christophe Boesch, the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in…

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Oxytocin enhances social affiliation in chimpanzee groups

In violent intergroup conflicts between chimpanzee groups the hormone oxytocin enhances the social affiliation among members of the same group

The high…

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9,500-year-old funerary rituals involving the reduction of fresh corpses discovered in east central Brazil

Human Evolution

Findings from Lapa do Santo show oldest evidence in the continent of humans performing elaborated funerary rituals based on the manipulation and…

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A new behavioural variant in wild chimpanzees: Algae fishing in Bakoun, Guinea

Max Planck researchers found chimpanzees routinely fish for algae during the dry season in Bakoun, Guinea, using long and robust sticks as a tool


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