Philadelphia Zoo, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Penn Undergraduate Anthropology Society Present “What Makes Humans So Different from Other Apes”

An Intimate Evening with Primatologist Dr. Carel van Schaik

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been cancelled.

(April 4, 2012) - The Philadelphia Zoo, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Penn Undergraduate Anthropology Society present an evening with Dr. Carel van Schaik a preeminent primatologist, Professor and Director of the Anthropological Institute & Museum and the University of Zurich, Switzerland on Monday, April 16th at 6pm in Penn Museum’s Rainey Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

Humans are remarkably similar to the other great apes but show even more remarkable differences. Professor Carel van Schaik will discuss that our unique features derive largely from the adoption of cooperative care and hunting approximately 2 million years ago.

Dr. van Schaik has studied wild primates since 1976 with a strong concentration in Indonesia. He currently works on orangutan socieocology and on the evolution of culture and cognition, with a focus on the nature of culture in great apes and on the correlated evolution between cognitive abilities, slow life history and the development of ecological competence in wild orangutans.

“Carel van Schaik is one of the world’s leading experts on wild orangutans,” says Meredith Bastian, Curator of Primates at the Philadelphia Zoo. “We are delighted to welcome him back to Philadelphia during the Zoo’s Year of the Orangutan.”

Throughout 2012, the Philadelphia Zoo will celebrate The Year of the Orangutan, and make a commitment of creativity, energy and resources designed to create significant contributions to one goal: save wild orangutans from extinction. The strategy is to coordinate programming, marketing, exhibition and interpretation to create awareness and a demand for sustainable palm oil in the U.S. and around the globe.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology recently opened a permanent exhibit called Human Evolution: The First 200 Million Years which gives visitors hands-on opportunities to explore the process of evolution through more than 100 touchable casts and multimedia programs

About Dr. Carel van Schaik:

Dr. Carel van Schaik is a Dutch primatologist who since 2004 is Professor and Director of the Anthropological Institute & Museum at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He studied biology at the Utrecht University and was a researcher for the Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research until 1984, receiving his doctorate from Utrecht in 1985. After positions at Utrecht, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Princeton University, he joined the faculty at Duke University as a professor in the Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy. Also Co-Director of the Center for Tropical Conservation, Carel was based at Duke from 1989-2004 before moving to the University of Zurich. Carel has studied wild primates in all continents where primates live in the wild since 1976, with a strong concentration in Indonesia. His work currently works on orangutan socioecology and on the evolution of culture and cognition, with a focus on the nature of culture in great apes and on the correlated evolution of cognitive evolution, slow life history, and the development of ecological competence in wild orangutans. Carel has advised numerous graduate students, including the Philadelphia Zoo’s Curator of Primates, Dr. Meredith Bastian, and the Director of Research at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), Dr. Serge Wich.

About University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology:
Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2012, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.

Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; and bus routes 12, 21, 30, 40, and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Wednesday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, with P.M. @ PENN MUSEUM evening programs offered select Wednesdays. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens (65 +); $8 children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger; "pay-what-you-want" the last hour before closing. Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are offered to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop and Pyramid Shop for Children offer a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing and jewelry. Penn Museum can be found on the web at www.penn.museum. For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.