Orangutan mothers play the role of mistresses with their children!

The House of Science is like a collection of stories. Beautiful tales told to live in all their freshness. But also in all its complexities. Arch to marvel at the treasures of the world. In this new episode, let’s meet one of our closest cousins: the orangutan.

Orangutan is a funny animal. He likes to walk from branch to branch. Thanks to his strong arms. In search of fruit orinsects. And even taste the leaves as soon as they are placed on the treetops. One funny monkey, so close to us that the Malays named it“Man of the Forest”.

Unfortunately today, it is rarely found in the wild except in Borneo Islands and Sumatra. The species is considered endangered. Or rather type. Because there are three distinct species of orangutan. Species that are differentiated mainly by where you live. Although the Borneo orangutan is said to be slightly smaller than the other species.

One of the characteristics of orangutans is that they are the only great apes that do not live in groups. They are more than just reclusive. Except for females and their young. Like many mammalian mothers, orangutan mothers accompany their young ones so they know how to feed themselves, in particular. And between these great monkeysThere, it can take a long time. Up to nine years!

We must realize, in the offspring of the offspring, that finding food in their environment is not so simple. Little orangutans must learn to recognize and process more than 200 different foods. Many of them require several steps before monkeys can taste them. Bark, for example, must be plucked from trees and then scraped with teeth to remove the nutritious parts. Some foods even require an orangutan to learn how to use tools. Like extracting honey from beehives. Monkeys must know how to handle a stick.

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discreet education

In the orangutan, thelearning It is done by observation. To acquire the appropriate skills, youngsters simply imitate their mothers. This is what scientists have long believed. But this negativity stunned them, but all of them. This comes to a greater extent from females who spend a lot of time with their offspring. However, it is only recently that researchers have noticed, by observing more closely the mothers’ behaviors, that they are in fact not passive.

They seem, on the contrary, to adapt their behavior to the age and abilities of their young selves to put themselves at their fingertips. Teach all in subtleties. Thus, orangutan mothers are more patient when their young have to eat appropriate foods that are difficult to identify or more complex to process. This is with regard to foods that requireuse tool They are the most tolerant of little orangutans. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the little monkey is begging for simple papers. He must learn very quickly to choose them himself.

Remember that teaching skills to fellow humans is a fairly rare behavior in the animal kingdom. Even if it is already observed in species very far from each other. With their new observations, the researchers are adding another species to the list. Orangutans exhibit at least some, if not all, of the cognitive, environmental, and social conditions that allow them to support this ability. What must be emphasized again is that orangutans… are not that stupid!

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