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!
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