World Gorilla Day

On this World Gorilla Day, we direct you to the latest news on gorilla populations provided by Mongabay, which has both good news and bad news. And we also want to share this New York Times short documentary (2014) about the gorillas and park rangers of Virunga:

Ancient Monkey Import

A rare example of a primate trade item – a find from the ancient city of Susa, modern Iran, probably imported from Central Asia or the Indus Valley – can be seen in the Louvre, Paris.  The small, red limestone monkey statuette – possibly a representation of an Asian macaque – is shown seated, and dates from the 3rd millennium BCE.  Ancient Near Eastern  (cylinder and other) seals also depict monkeys squatting or seated on stools.


See:   (official site) – see page 20, Near Eastern Antiquities, or

see the work in the Louvre, Richelieu Wing, Room 231.

Zoopharmacognosy – red-fronted lemurs self-medicating with millipede secretions

I have been meaning to post a link to a new study of zoopharmacognosy in red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons), but have been away from the website for a wee while due to some health issues. Apologies for the lack of posts from me over the past months. The research was conducted by Louise R. Peckre, Charlotte Defolie, Peter M. Kappeler and Claudia Fichtel and published online in Primates Journal, 30 July 2018: 

Potential self-medication using millipede secretions in red-fronted lemurs: combining anointment and ingestion for a joint action against gastrointestinal parasites?


Self-anointing, referring to the behaviour of rubbing a material object or foreign substance over different parts of the body, has been observed in several vertebrate species, including primates. Several functions, such as detoxifying a rich food source, social communication and protection against ectoparasites, have been proposed to explain this behaviour. Here, we report observations of six wild red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) of both sexes and different age classes anointing their perianal-genital areas and tails with chewed millipedes. Several individuals also ingested millipedes after prolonged chewing. In light of the features of the observed interactions with millipedes, and the nature and potential metabolic pathways of the released chemicals, we suggest a potential self-medicative function. Specifically, we propose that anointing combined with the ingestion of millipedes’ benzoquinone secretions by red-fronted lemurs may act in a complementary fashion against gastrointestinal parasite infections, and more specifically Oxyuridae nematodes, providing both prophylactic and therapeutic effects.


Peckre, L.R., Defolie, C., Kappeler, P.M. et al. Primates (2018).

Publisher Name: Springer JapanPrint ISSN: 0032-8332Online ISSN: 1610-7365