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Biology, Mind

Video: Magic Trick Cracks Up an Ape

I enjoyed this orangutan’s reaction to a magic trick. You can almost see the ape working out that the magician switched the cups, right before falling on the floor and laughing about being tricked.

It’s also a little sad to see any animal in a cage. The apparent thoughtfulness and intelligence this orangutan shows makes it extra sad, but the moment of fun is great.

Orangutans are apes. The three species know are currently in trouble due to human activity and you can help. Check out redapes.org and stop using products containing palm oil to give orangutans a lot better shot at surviving extinction.

Apes are primates. Primates are mammals that share the following characteristics:

• hair instead of fur

• fingernails instead of claws

• opposable thumbs

• higher brain-to-body size ratio/high level of intelligence

• prehensility (ability to grasp with fingers and/or toes)

• padded digits with fingerprints

• binocular vision i.e. both eyes focus on one object (depth perception)

• reduced olfactory sense and dependent on vision more than smell

People often confuse apes and monkeys. Although there are a number of differences between apes and monkeys (apes have a longer lifespan, larger body size, larger brain-to-body size ratio, and higher intelligence); the main difference is that monkeys have tails and apes do not have tails.


Summary: Don’t call primates without tails monkeys.

The destruction and degradation of the tropical rain forest, particularly lowland forest, in Borneo and Sumatra is the main reason orangutans are threatened with extinction.

This has been caused primarily by human activity (intense illegal logging, conversion of forest to palm oil plantations and timber estates, mining, clearing forest for settlements, and road construction) and also by large-scale fires facilitated by the El Nino weather phenomena. Additionally, the illegal animal trade has been a factor in the decline of wild orangutan populations. Finally, orangutans are occasionally hunted and eaten by some of the indigenous peoples of Borneo as well as migrant loggers and plantation workers who do not have dietary prohibitions against eating primate bushmeat.

Via orangutan.org

Ecosystems are complex webs that usually maintain some kind of homeostasis. This balance may be thrown off when a species is lost. Do what you can to help endangered species because our own survival may depend on biodiversity.


About Xeno

E pluribus unum.


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