Tech UPTechnologyThe mimicry of orangutans

The mimicry of orangutans

orangutan-mimica Orangutans use mimicry to communicate , according to a study carried out by a group of Canadian scientists in which they claim that great apes use exaggerated gestures such as pretending to be scratched when itchy or imitating that they open a termite nest to indicate your partner to do so. The study, published in the journal Biology Letters , suggests that ape communication is more complex than previously thought.

The researchers discovered the recurrence to using mimicry by reviewing 20 years of studies with orangutans in theborneo island. The animals had initially been in captivity, but were living freely or partially free in the jungle. The team identified 18 cases in which orangutans had been seen mimicking.

Some gestures were very complex. Specifically, one of the orangutans, Kikan, had injured his foot and was helped by one of the conservationists who took a small stone and extracted latex from the stem of a fig leaf to heal the wound. A week later, Kikan attracted the attention of his rescuer and took a sheet and represented the treatment he had received.

“He wasn’t asking for anything, which is the most common target observed in great ape communication, but he just seemed to besharing a memorywith the person who helped him when he was hurt, “explains Anne Russon, a professor at Glendon College of York, Ontario, Canada.

Until now,mimicry was believed to be a sophisticated form of communication reserved solely for humans. But everything seems to indicate that orangutans have much more sophisticated communication skills than previously believed. “Mimicry has been proposed as the basis for the evolution of language because it broadens the range of messages that an individual can send”, clarifies Russon.

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