Posted: April 17, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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An innovative study looking at how orangutans build their nests has revealed that the apes use a high level of engineering know-how. A team of UK researchers found that they bend and half-break thick branches which they use to build the structure of their nests. But then they break off smaller branches and twigs for the lining – presumably to make their nests more comfortable. ‘It’s clear orangutans use their knowledge of the mechanics of how different types of branches break to make their nests,’ says Adam van Casteren from the University of Manchester, lead author of the study, which is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ‘The degree of technical knowledge they use gives us clues about the evolution of tool use and technology in human ancestors,’ he adds. (via Orangutan nests reveal engineering expertise)

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