Orangutans can mime their desires | Science News

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Orangutans can mime their desires

Ability suggests an understanding of others’ perspectives, researchers say

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6:40pm, August 10, 2010

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Orangutans have repeatedly demonstrated the capacity to communicate by pantomiming, researchers say, usually when some dim-witted human just hasn’t gotten the message.

Combing through about 20 years of observations in Indonesia, two researchers highlight 18 occasions of what they interpret as orangutans acting out some request or other communication in elaborated gestures of pantomime. The observations may offer insight into what orangutans understand about the minds of others and also shed light on the ancient gestural roots of human language.

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