Orangutan nests reveal engineering expertise

Great apes are our closest relatives, and they are constantly surprising us with their human-like abilities and tendencies; here at Ars, we've seen studies showing that they plan ahead, they engage in wars over territory, and they respond to being tickled, just to name a few. Now, a new study in PNAS adds to the growing list of ways in which great apes are similar to us: they value a good night’s sleep, and they have the technological know-how to build pretty impressive beds from some very basic materials. Many species of great ape, including chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans, build nests in the forest canopy. Generally, these nests are slept in for just one night, then abandoned. The nests are thought to benefit the apes in several ways: sleeping above the ground reduces disturbances, protects them from predators, leaves them less vulnerable to mosquitoes and other pests, and generally increases the quality of their sleep. However, we know very little about how these nests are actually con

Orangutan nests reveal engineering expertise

An innovative study looking at how orangutans build their nests has revealed that the apes use a high level of engineering know-how.

Tue 17 Apr 12 from Phys.org

Apes show off engineering skills

Orangutans choose the best building materials to engineer the most structurally sound and comfortable nests, according to researchers.

Mon 16 Apr 12 from BBC News

Nest-making orangutans build for comfort and strength

Great apes are our closest relatives, and they are constantly surprising us with their human-like abilities and tendencies; here at Ars, we've seen studies showing that they plan ahead, they ...

Wed 18 Apr 12 from Ars Technica

Orangutans are skillful nestbuilders whose engineering expertise rivals that of birds, say scientists.

The great apes construct large, oval nests in tree canopies where each evening they will curl up and sleep but little is known about their mechanical design.

Tue 17 Apr 12 from Daily Mail

Orangutans make sophisticated tree nests

MANCHESTER, England, April 17 (UPI) -- Tree nests built by orangutans in Indonesia suggest the animals possess complex knowledge of mechanical design and material properties, researchers say.

Tue 17 Apr 12 from UPI

Orangutan nest building shows high degree of sophistication

Orangutans may be smarter than previously thought if a new study into the sophisticated way they build nests is any indication. Source: University of Manchester - Discipline: Animal Behavior

Tue 17 Apr 12 from Labspaces.net

Orangutan nest building shows high degree of sophistication, Tue 17 Apr 12 from e! Science News

Orangutans smarter than previously thought: Orangutan nest building highly sophisticated, Tue 17 Apr 12 from ScienceDaily

Orangutan nests are really complicated, Tue 17 Apr 12 from Science Blog

Orangutan nest building shows high degree of sophistication, Tue 17 Apr 12 from Eurekalert

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