Not only humans, `orangutans can act too`
London: They may not be versatile
Hollywood actors, but orangutans can act -- in fact, they have
been caught on camera acting out their intentions and desires,
proving humans aren`t alone in being able to do this.
Apes such as orangutans and chimpanzees were already
known to display meaningful gestures.
Now, an international team has captured orangutans
on camera performing "pantomimes", in which they express their
intentions and desires by acting them out, a finding which
challenges the view these behaviours are exclusive to humans.
"Pantomime is considered uniquely human. It is based
on imitation, recreating behaviours you have seen somewhere
else, which can be considered complex and beyond the grasp of
most non-human species," Anne Russon from York University, who
led the team, was quoted by the `New Scientist` as saying.
The biologists have based their findings on an
analysis of 20 years of data on the behaviour of free-ranging,
They found 18 cases of orangutans clearly acting
out a message. Sometimes it was a simple mime, such as body-
scratching using a stick, probably to encourage another
orangutan to groom the actor.
In more elaborate cases, orangutans faked an inability
to do something in order to elicit help. One even re-enacted
an event that had happened in the past, when a biologist had
used a leaf to treat the young ape`s sore foot.
"Now it has to be clear that this is not exclusive
to humans," said Robert Shumaker of Indianapolis Zoo, adding,
it adds to evidence of complex culture among orangutans which
have even been seen to fashion musical instruments.
"Most of the pantomimes observed were between an
orangutan and a human, but the orangutans weren`t taught these
actions. They occurred in normal communication, not elicited
or prompted by a researcher, in the normal course of daily
behaviour," Russo said.
Nonetheless, these apes were used to human contact.
The next question is how often this happens among wild apes,
The findings have been published in the `Biology
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Trump-Sharif conversation: Team Donald denies Pakistan's claims
- Aware of Chinese submarine deployment at Balochistan's Gwadar port, says Navy chief
- Hizbul commander Musa issues threats of attacks in new video
- 'Heart of Asia' Conference begins in Amritsar; Sartaj Aziz to pay a visit on Sunday
- Like SAARC, should India boycott Pak in Heart of Asia conference?
- Gujarat businessman declares highest ever black money amount – Rs 13,000 crore!
- Army proves Mamata Banerjee wrong, releases letter showing West Bengal govt knew of exercise
- Rs 14,000 crore default case: Gujarat businessman detained, says money belongs to politicians, babus
- Manohar Parrikar exposes Mamata's attempt to politicise routine Army exercise in Kolkata
- Newly-wed couple Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech perform `bhangra` at Goa airport – Viral video