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Sunday, May 01, 2005

DNA Shows that Gibraltarís Rock Apes Are Africans
The Barbary Apes who live on Gibraltarís Rock are the only semi-wild monkeys in Europe. And for decades, nobody knew where they came from. Now, after studying mitochondrial DNA from 280 individual samples, an international group of scientists from Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. has solved the mystery of the origin of Gibraltar's macaques. Their study reveals that they descended from founders picked in both Morocco and Algeria.

Of course, another mystery needs to be solved. You might not know that a local story says that if the monkeys disappear from Gibraltar, so will the British. So when the population of these Barbary Apes was almost reduced to zero sixty years ago, did British Prime Minister Winston Churchill order to capture some of them in nearby Africa? Read more for other details and references, plus a great photo of one of these monkeys which doesn't seem to suffer from vertigo.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 8:17 AM Comments (0)
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