Apeldoorn, Netherlands
Apeldoorn, Netherlands

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PubMed | Leiden University, Apenheul Primate Park, University of Amsterdam and Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2016

In social animals, the fast detection of group members emotional expressions promotes swift and adequate responses, which is crucial for the maintenance of social bonds and ultimately for group survival. The dot-probe task is a well-established paradigm in psychology, measuring emotional attention through reaction times. Humans tend to be biased toward emotional images, especially when the emotion is of a threatening nature. Bonobos have rich, social emotional lives and are known for their soft and friendly character. In the present study, we investigated (i) whether bonobos, similar to humans, have an attentional bias toward emotional scenes compared with conspecifics showing a neutral expression, and (ii) which emotional behaviors attract their attention the most. As predicted, results consistently showed that bonobos attention was biased toward the location of the emotional versus neutral scene. Interestingly, their attention was grabbed most by images showing conspecifics such as sexual behavior, yawning, or grooming, and not as much-as is often observed in humans-by signs of distress or aggression. The results suggest that protective and affiliative behaviors are pivotal in bonobo society and therefore attract immediate attention in this species.


Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands has calculated annual CO2 emissions from internal activities (e.g. heating, lighting, food preparation) and emissions caused by the fossil-fuel cars the visitors use to and from the Park. Cars caused c. 77% of all emissions and some practical way of offsetting this CO2 load was sought. At Samboja Lestari in Indonesia, research has shown that Sugar palm Borassus flabellifer plantations can be planted and harvested successfully on land previously overrun with Alang-alang Imperata cylindrica grass, which renders the land unsuitable for other forms of cultivation or grazing. The only harvest from Sugar palms is sugar sap and, because sugar is produced from CO2 and H2O, this contains no minerals, phosphate or nitrogen. The sugar can be used for human consumption or, after undergoing a fermentation process, for bio-ethanol, which can then be used as a renewable source of energy. It is predicted that by 2015, Apenheul will be able to offset a substantial proportion of its carbon load from 50 ha of Sugar palms in which it has invested. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Zoological Society of London.


Jens W.,Apenheul Primate Park | Mager-Melicharek C.A.X.,Apenheul Primate Park | Rietkerk F.E.,Apenheul Primate Park
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2012

Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands is well known for its 40 year-old tradition of keeping various primate species in semi-natural conditions and free ranging among visitors. Most of the free-ranging primates at Apenheul are cebids and they are the focus of this article. Factors to consider when mixing primate species in a free-ranging exhibit, such as enclosure design, husbandry and management measures related to visitors, are presented. Those details are thought to be crucial for this form of keeping primates to succeed. The possibilities and challenges of keeping primates free ranging in the natural social setting are discussed. Mixing different animal species in one area can improve the visitor experience and can also be valuable enrichment for the animals themselves. The species combinations (primates mixed with other primate species as well as with non-primate species) that Apenheul has had experience with since the opening in 1971 are listed in two tables. Advice is given on issues to consider if institutions want to mix primate species in a semi-free-ranging exhibit. © 2012 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2012 The Zoological Society of London.

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