Posts Tagged ‘spear’

Orangutan attempts to fish

April 29, 2008

This is a pretty awesome story. Adding to the support for the fact that humans are the most cultural animal, as opposed to the only one, an orangutan in Borneo was seen attempting to catch fish from a stream with a spear. He apparently was attempting to imitate the hunting behavior of some local humans. Make sure to follow the link, as it has a pretty impressive photograph.

It just goes to show that the capacity for cultural transmission is one more trait that evolved by slow degrees. Other animals have demonstrated the ability to teach skills to each other and to their offspring. Some examples:

  • Chimpanzees using a complex set of tools to “fish” for termites
  • Orcas teach their young how to fish, and how to make group-specific vocalizations