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Innovation and intelligence in orangutans


Russon, A E; van Schaik, C P; Kuncoro, P; Ferisa, A; Handayani, D P; van Noordwijk, M A (2009). Innovation and intelligence in orangutans. In: Wich, S A; Utami Atmoko, S S; Mitra Setia, T; van Schaik, C P. Orangutans: geographic variation in behavioral ecology and conservation. New York, US: Oxford University Press, 279-298.

Abstract

This chapter examines spontaneous innovation in orangutans using prevalence-based methods for identifying potential innovations in free-ranging populations and comparisons between rehabilitant and wild orangutans. Aims were to update the list of innovations, validate potential wild innovations, and estimate the innovative processes involved. Findings derive from systematic observations at one wild orangutan site (Tuanan) and four rehabilitant sites plus findings from eight other wild orangutan sites. Wild orangutan evidence identified 56 potential innovations. Validation using rehabilitant data suggests dropping some entries, adding others, and lumping or splitting others. An approximation on what was innovated was made by comparing potential wild innovations with similar species-typical and rehabilitant variants. These comparisons suggest that orangutans innovate by making small extensions to existing skills: combining old skills in new ways, adding a tool, applying old skills to new functions, and changing the items used. All are consistent with findings on great ape intelligence.

Abstract

This chapter examines spontaneous innovation in orangutans using prevalence-based methods for identifying potential innovations in free-ranging populations and comparisons between rehabilitant and wild orangutans. Aims were to update the list of innovations, validate potential wild innovations, and estimate the innovative processes involved. Findings derive from systematic observations at one wild orangutan site (Tuanan) and four rehabilitant sites plus findings from eight other wild orangutan sites. Wild orangutan evidence identified 56 potential innovations. Validation using rehabilitant data suggests dropping some entries, adding others, and lumping or splitting others. An approximation on what was innovated was made by comparing potential wild innovations with similar species-typical and rehabilitant variants. These comparisons suggest that orangutans innovate by making small extensions to existing skills: combining old skills in new ways, adding a tool, applying old skills to new functions, and changing the items used. All are consistent with findings on great ape intelligence.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:
Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:18 Feb 2010 16:09
Last Modified:14 Sep 2016 13:42
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISBN:978-0-19-921327-6
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213276.003.0020
Related URLs:http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=005683706
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