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Orangutans Plan Their Future Route and Communicate It to Others

RATE THIS! +47
Posted in Science on 17th Sep, 2013 02:45 AM by AlexMuller

For a long time it was thought that only humans had the ability to anticipate future actions, whereas animals are caught in the here and now. But in recent years, clever experiments with great apes in zoos have shown that they do remember past events and can plan for their future needs. Anthropologists at the University of Zurich have now investigated whether wild apes also have this skill, following them for several years through the dense tropical swamplands of Sumatra.

 

Orangutans generally journey through the forest alone, but they also maintain social relationships. Adult males sometimes emit loud 'long calls' to attract females and repel rivals. Their cheek pads act as a funnel for amplifying the sound in the same way as a megaphone. Females that only hear a faint call come closer in order not to lose contact. Non-dominant males on the other hand hurry in the opposite direction if they hear the call coming loud and clear in their direction.
 
"To optimize the effect of these calls, it thus would make sense for the male to call in the direction of his future whereabouts, if he already knew about them," explains Carel van Schaik. "We then actually observed that the males traveled for several hours in approximately the same direction as they had called."
 
In extreme cases, long calls made around nesting time in the evening predicted the travel direction better than random until the evening of the next day.Carel van Schaik and his team conclude that orangutans plan their route up to a day ahead. In addition, the males often announced changes in travel direction with a new, better-fitting long call. The researchers also found that in the morning, the other orangutans reacted correctly to the long call of the previous evening, even if no new long call was emitted.


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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-17
+5
So they want to travel alone but do stop every once in a while for recreation say to speak. Oh well, maybe they are more like men than we thought. lol Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-17
+5
Now the article is saying that Carel van Schaik and his team conclude that orangutans plan their route up to a day ahead. Okay so pray tell me how that come up with this theory and what makes them think that the orangutans plan the next days travel. That one is certainly farfetched. Reply


 

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