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Old March 25th, 2015 #313
Alex Linder
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Alex Linder
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We May Have Snakes To Thank For Our Acute Vision


Next time you run into an African bush viper like this one, be thankful for your forward-facing eyes.

In a new paper published in the journal Primates, author William C. McGrew, a former professor of evolutionary primatology at the University of Cambridge, reports a high rate of venomous snake encounters by his team of primatologists seeking to observe unhabituated wild chimpanzees in Mount Assirik, Senegal, West Africa.

McGrew's snake-encounter analysis in the paper Snakes as hazards: modelling risk by chasing chimpanzees is one test of what's known as the snake-detection theory of primate origins, a set of hypotheses that suggest we (along with other primates) owe certain features of our evolution to the risks posed by death and injury from snakes.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2015/0...r-acute-vision