The Gibbon Ballerina and the Insular Cortex

In developing a model of the Insular Cortex, I was interested to see if any clues could be gained from looking at things from an evolutionary perspective and in particular I wanted to know a little bit more about our nearest living relatives. A trip to the zoo was in order – Twycross Zoo. Twycross Zoo focuses on primates and has done some important conservation work for a number of endangered species. While I was there, I was able to see a number of beautiful creatures but I was taken aback by one in particular – a playful Gibbon who spontaneously began to spin around. I was fortunate enough to have had my camcorder handy and i’ve embedded the video here. I’ve checked and double checked the footage and it really is spinning around this quickly. There is a useful yardstick, which is the movement of the rope on the top right hand corner of the screen. The speed of the rope can be contrasted with that of the Gibbon. Note also how the Gibbon’s hand is rotating on the supporting wooden beam. I’ve seen other footage of Gibbons including one taunting some tiger cubs and another pulling a dog’s tail and running away and i’m beginning to wonder if they aren’t more agile than humans. Anyhow see for yourselves!


If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail


The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s