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DPZ aktuell published

In issue 2/2019 we report among other things about competing long-tailed macaques, improved diagnostic possibilities for Zika viruses and contact calls of South American spider monkeys.
A long-tailed macaque on the cover page of the issue 2/2019. Photo: Margrit Hampe, Layout: Heike Klensang

That competition spurs us on is undisputed. Scientists from the Cognitive Ethology Laboratory have examined long-tailed macaques to see whether this also applies to monkeys. Their conclusion: In contrast to humans, monkeys only compare themselves with other monkeys if they are in direct competition with each other – for example for raisins.

Zika viruses belong to the flavivirus group, to which also pathogens belong such as the yellow fever, dengue or West Nile virus. Due to this relationship, zika virus infections are often not specifically detected in the blood of patients because cross-reactions with antibodies against other flaviviruses can occur. Christiane Stahl-Hennig, head of the Unit of Infection Models, and an international team of researchers have identified new zika virus-specific antibody binding sites that will considerably facilitate the detection of infections in the future.

Like most monkey species, spider monkeys live together in groups. But how do the monkeys keep in contact with each other, especially when other monkeys are further away from the group? Kurt Hammerschmidt and José Domingo Ordóñez-Gómez, both scientists in the Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, have investigated this question in Geoffroy spider monkeys in the rainforest of Mexico and found that the animals vary their calls in fundamental frequency when isolated from the group.

In addition to these research highlights, the new issue also features an excellent evaluation of our Functional Imaging Laboratory and the Research Group Social Evolution in Primates, what students experienced at the DPZ's Future Day, and a report on the opening symposium of our Junior Research Group "Cognitive Hearing in Primates".

We hope you enjoy reading it.

The magazine "DPZ aktuell" is published four times a year, has about 40 pages each and can be subscribed to free of charge. If you are interested, you can find further information here. Of course, the magazine is also available in-house: You can find it at the reception or in the library.