- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Video: Apes Play Charades
11 August 2010 9:30 am
Please download the latest version of the free Flash plug-in.
Credit: Anne Russon
Who says orangutans can't talk with their hands? By analyzing 20 years of video footage culled from studies in Indonesia, researchers have found that forest-dwelling orangutans can act out words or phrases by gesturing, just like humans do. An orangutan will offer a leaf and mimic wiping something, for example, to get his partner to wipe his head clean with that leaf. And, as seen in this video, orangutans will excitedly swing a stick up and down on top of a coconut to say to a researcher, "Hey human, use your machete to cut up my dinner." The apes even pantomime to trick others: By gesturing that they're having a hard time getting into a termite mound for a snack, an orangutan can get some easy help, the team reports online today in Biology Letters. Scientists already knew that orangutans pantomime in captivity, but showing that they also do it in the wild tells us that they developed this form of communication on their own, and not just by imitating humans.
See more Videos.