In the natural world, orangutans have been ranked as one of the most intelligent primates.  Primates are the order that is home to apes, monkeys, and humans.  Orangutans have been observed possessing several human-like characteristics such as long-term memory the use of sophisticated tools.  Just like the other three species of great apes, orangutans have been listed as critically endangered.

In this study, orangutans were presented with a bendable wire and a box containing a treat that could only be retrieved with the use of the wire.  The orangutans consistently managed to bend the wire into a hook shape to successfully retrieve the box.

According to the scientists conducting these fascinating studies, the speed with which the apes solved this puzzle is astonishing.  It reveals just how close humans are to our relatives, the great apes.  The first evidence of homo sapiens using tools dates back to 16,000-60,000 years ago.

If you’ve seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies, these studies are probably as frightening to you as they are to me.  The ever-growing list of parallels between apes and humans is both haunting and enthralling.

To see the original article on this study click here.

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