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    Sommer, Volker Buba, Umaru Jesus, Gonçalo and Pascual-Garrido, Alejandra 2017. Sustained myrmecophagy in Nigerian chimpanzees: Preferred or fallback food?. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 162, Issue. 2, p. 328.

    Bandini, Elisa and Tennie, Claudio 2017. Spontaneous reoccurrence of “scooping”, a wild tool-use behaviour, in naïve chimpanzees. PeerJ, Vol. 5, p. e3814.

    2016. The Primate Origins of Human Nature. p. 443.

    Jacobs, Ivo and Osvath, Mathias 2016. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. p. 1.

    HAYASHI, MISATO 2016. Mother-infant bond in great apes: mother-infant interaction and cognitive development in chimpanzees and orangutans. Japanese Journal of Animal Psychology, Vol. 66, Issue. 1, p. 29.

    Bardo, Ameline Borel, Antony Meunier, Hélène Guéry, Jean-Pascal and Pouydebat, Emmanuelle 2016. Behavioral and functional strategies during tool use tasks in bonobos. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 161, Issue. 1, p. 125.

    Gruber, Thibaud Zuberbühler, Klaus and Neumann, Christof 2016. Travel fosters tool use in wild chimpanzees. eLife, Vol. 5,

    Hashimoto, Chie Isaji, Mina Koops, Kathelijne and Furuichi, Takeshi 2015. First records of tool-set use for ant-dipping by Eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kalinzu Forest Reserve, Uganda. Primates, Vol. 56, Issue. 4, p. 301.

    Roffman, Itai Savage-Rumbaugh, Sue Rubert-Pugh, Elizabeth Stadler, André Ronen, Avraham and Nevo, Eviatar 2015. Preparation and use of varied natural tools for extractive foraging by bonobos (Pan Paniscus). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 158, Issue. 1, p. 78.

    Gruber, Thibaud Poisot, Timothée Zuberbühler, Klaus Hoppitt, William and Hobaiter, Catherine 2015. The spread of a novel behavior in wild chimpanzees: New insights into the ape cultural mind. Communicative & Integrative Biology, Vol. 8, Issue. 2, p. e1017164.

    Gruber, Thibaud Zuberbühler, Klaus Clément, Fabrice and van Schaik, Carel 2015. Apes have culture but may not know that they do. Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 6,

    Gustafsson, Erik Saint Jalme, Michel Bomsel, Marie-Claude and Krief, Sabrina 2014. Food Neophobia and Social Learning Opportunities in Great Apes. International Journal of Primatology, Vol. 35, Issue. 5, p. 1037.

    Haslam, Michael 2014. On the tool use behavior of the bonobo-chimpanzee last common ancestor, and the origins of hominine stone tool use. American Journal of Primatology, Vol. 76, Issue. 10, p. 910.

    Schrenk, Friedemann 2013. A Companion to Paleoanthropology. p. 479.

    Raubenheimer, David and Rothman, Jessica M. 2013. Nutritional Ecology of Entomophagy in Humans and Other Primates. Annual Review of Entomology, Vol. 58, Issue. 1, p. 141.

    Smith, Tanya M. Kupczik, Kornelius Machanda, Zarin Skinner, Matthew M. and Zermeno, John P. 2012. Enamel thickness in Bornean and Sumatran orangutan dentitions. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 147, Issue. 3, p. 417.

    O'Malley, Robert C. and Power, Michael L. 2012. Nutritional composition of actual and potential insect prey for the Kasekela chimpanzees of Gombe National Park, Tanzania. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 149, Issue. 4, p. 493.

    Malone, N. Fuentes, A. and White, F. J. 2012. Variation in the Social Systems of Extant Hominoids: Comparative Insight into the Social Behavior of Early Hominins. International Journal of Primatology, Vol. 33, Issue. 6, p. 1251.

    Manrique, Héctor Marín and Call, Josep 2011. Spontaneous use of tools as straws in great apes. Animal Cognition, Vol. 14, Issue. 2, p. 213.

    Byrne, Richard W. Hobaiter, Catherine and Klailova, Michelle 2011. Local traditions in gorilla manual skill: evidence for observational learning of behavioral organization. Animal Cognition, Vol. 14, Issue. 5, p. 683.

  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: October 2009

4 - Intelligent tool use in wild Sumatran orangutans



Until recently, there was limited evidence of tool use (sensu Beck, 1980) by wild orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), and no evidence of tool manufacture, despite several long-term field studies in Borneo (Ulu Segama: MacKinnon, 1974; Tanjung Puting: Galdikas, 1982; Kutai: Rodman 1973; Mitani 1985; Suzuki, 1989; Gunung Palung: Mitani et al., 1991) and Sumatra (Ketambe, in Gunung Leuser: Rijksen, 1978; Sugardjito 1986; Utami & Mitrasetia, 1995). Orangutans had been observed using only “found objects” as tools (Byrne, 1995): simple, unmodified raw materials such as leaves to wipe off feces (MacKinnon, 1974), a pad of leaves for holding spiny durian fruit (S. Utami, personal communication), a leafy branch for a bee swatter (E. Fox, personal observation), a bunch of leafy branches held together as an “umbrella” while traveling in the rain (Rijksen, 1978; E. Fox, personal observation), a single stick as a backscratcher (Galdikas, 1982), and a branch or tree trunk as a missile (all studies). Because observations of flexible tool behavior in wild primates had been limited to chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), it had often been suggested that the manufacture and flexible use of tools arose only in the chimpanzee–hominid clade (McGrew, 1992, 1993).

Such limited tool use by wild orangutans was inconsistent with observations of captive orangutans. In contrast to their wild counterparts, captive and rehabilitant orangutans demonstrated a rich array of flexible tool behavior, at least as complex as that demonstrated by chimpanzees under similar conditions (Lethmate, 1982; Russon & Galdikas, 1993, 1995). Why did captive and rehabilitant orangutans demonstrate such complex tool behavior, while wild orangutans remained relatively unsophisticated?

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The Mentalities of Gorillas and Orangutans
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