Biologists have studied instrumental activities of orangutans and found that if necessary, they can easily make the hook, or straighten it again.
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To us it may seem too simple, however, for children up to eight years, this task is not so easy. Human babies demonstrate excellent skills in instrumental activities from a very early age. But if they (without prompting from adults) need to “invent” hook, bend a piece of wire to hook up with interesting but inaccessible object, three – and even five year olds hardly can handle it. Moreover, at the age of seven years the problem is solved less than half of them. Therefore, experiments with these “hooks” popular among scientists-behaviorists, studying the behavior and cognitive abilities of animals.
More surprising observations of the Austrian and German scientists, headed by Isabel Lomer (Isabelle Laumer) presented in an article published in the journal Scientific Reports. The experiments were carried out with the orangutans living in the zoo of Leipzig. In the first option they were offered a reward placed on the bottom of a long vertical transparent tube: orangutans could not get her limbs, but has at its disposal a fragment of line wire. In the second case the bait was placed in a horizontal pipe, and the wire was bent at a right angle, so to get her prey was only previously straight this simple tool.
To the great surprise of scientists, almost all experimental animals coped with both tasks, and two orangutan, and all this took a matter of seconds. “They bent the wire more often, meshing the tip with his teeth and holding the rest of it to stay straight,” says Isabel Lomer. In the pipe ready hook are inserted immediately in the correct position podzeplje easy prey. Until now, such abilities were demonstrated, except that chimpanzees and new Caledonian crows.