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Whistling Orangutan Surprises Scients - February 21st 2009, 07:04 PM

http://www.newser.com/story/51412/wh...cientists.html

Quote:
(Newser) – An orangutan at Washington's National Zoo has pleased her caretakers with a unique skill—she's taken up whistling. Researchers have previously taught apes to do so, but Bonnie is different in that she started on her own, apparently by mimicking zookeepers, NPR reports. (She also imitates workers sweeping floors and wiping windows.) Aside from providing a little music, scientists say Bonnie's skill could help them study the evolution of human speech.
In tests, researchers found that Bonnie, who's 32, would imitate long or short whistles. "She was pretty good at following what I was doing," said one. "I think what makes it significant is that she decided to do it on her own. Something made her want to whistle, or at least try it out. And so to me, she was challenging herself to do something else."
I think it's pretty impressive that the orangutan learned to whistle on her own.


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Re: Whistling Orangutan Surprises Scients - February 22nd 2009, 03:24 PM

That was interesting, I never really thought about if they could whistle.
Theres always a lot of talk about the skills they have and how they learn to use tools etc.
I suppose it just shows how much we still dont know about animals and their development.
   
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