My flexor pollicis brevis hurts

I just finished creating a DNA library for next-generation sequencing, which entails a few days’ worth of pipetting to transport small, precise amounts of liquids between various tubes. I sometimes doubt the utility of my department’s primate morphology requirement, but all those lectures have made me able to say this: The thenar eminence of my right hand is an utter beast compared to my left.

Photo of Howler Monkey Predation by Boa Constrictor

A recent report in the journal Primates includes a photo of a boa constrictor midway through a meal of a Purús red howler monkey (Alouatta puruensis). Erika Patricia Quintino and Júlio César Bicca-Marques witnessed the predation in the western Brazilian Amazon. The photo is sure to grace the PowerPoints of Bio Anthro 101 course for years to come:

An account of the attack and aftermath, from the abstract:

The howler was swallowed head-first in 76 min. The only group member to respond to the distress vocalization emitted by the victim was the other adult female, which was closest to the location where the attack occurred. This female ran toward the snake, also vocalizing, and hit it with her hands several times, but the snake did not react and she moved off to a nearby tree from where she watched most of the interaction. The remaining group members stayed resting at a height approximately 15 m above the victim in a nearby tree without showing any overt signs of stress, except for a single whimper vocalization.

“…except for a single whimper vocalization.” :(

(Photo by Erika Patricia Quintino.)

Copyleft Bonobos

Hey, I recognize those bonobos! Thiago H. Petruccelli, an artist from Brazil, used my photo of a mother bonobo and her baby at Lola Ya Bonobo to make the following.

Bom trabalho, Thiago! It’s a great example of why releasing your work under Creative Commons rocks. You can see my original photo here and a video of the bonobos as well.