The Planet of the Apes film franchise began back in 1968, and it enjoyed a good run during the 1970s. Now Hollywood hopes to reboot the series with the release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a new film starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow and Andy Serkis. You don’t need to watch the film to get the gist of the plot: Chimps powered by a genetically engineered retrovirus go wild and start taking over the world. Watch the trailer and see for yourself.
At Emory University, Thomas Gillespie, Associate Professor of Public Health and Biodiversity Conservation, has turned the blockbuster release into a good teaching moment. In this five minute video, Gillespie discusses the real characteristics of this often misunderstood species, covering everything from their real temperament to their breeding habits and common social structures. Take a look and get the reality behind the fiction.