Showing posts with label orangutan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label orangutan. Show all posts

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Encounters with Gigantic Orangutans

We have been negligent in our postings about primatology and feel bad. We decided to bring you the story of the Gigantic Orangutans of Borneo.

At Tetrapod Zoology (hardcore fans, like us, call it Tet Zoo for short), Darren Naish is profiled as "a science writer, technical editor and palaeozoologist (affiliated with the University of Portsmouth, UK) who mostly works on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs."

He writes great articles that sometimes border into the realm of Cryptozoology while maintaining the rigor of science. Without further ado, please read the excerpt below and follow the link to Encounters with Gigantic Orangutans.

Over the past couple of months I've been reading John MacKinnon's In Search of the Red Ape (Collins, 1974) - one of the first books anyone reads whenever they want to learn about orangutans. The book is stuffed full of anecdotes and other natural history tales about Borneo and Sumatra, and it seems that MacKinnon (who, these days, is best known for his association with the discovery of the Saola Pseudoryx nghetinensis in Vietnam (MacKinnon 2000, Van Dung et al. 1993, 1994)) encountered just about every creature you could hope to encounter in the tropical jungles of the region... yes, even the enigmatic orang-pendek (or its tracks, at least).

Anyway, one particular section of the book really stands out for me: the bit where MacKinnon catches sight of a gigantic, terrestrially walking male orangutan...

I was nearly home when I saw a terrifying spectacle. For a moment I thought it was a trick of my vision. A huge, black orang-utan was walking along the path towards me. I had never seen such a large animal even in a zoo. He must have weighed every bit of three hundred pounds. Hoping that he had not noticed me, I dived behind a large tree. I was in no state to defend myself, or run from him should he come for me, and I could recall clearly the natives' terrible stories about old, ground-living orangs. I held my breath as the monster passed within a few feet of me and let him get about forty yards ahead before I followed in pursuit. He was enormous, as black as a gorilla but with his back almost bare of hair; Ivan the Terrible was the only name I could think of. (MacKinnon 1974, p. 54)

We guarantee you will love reading the rest at Tetrapod Zoology

SRC:Tetrapod Zoology
Tet Zoo: Chimpanzees make and use spears
Tet Zoo:Bipedal Orangs
"What to Make of Yowies?" by Darren Naish at Science Blogs

Bigfoot's Walking Cousins
Lair of the Beasts: Seeking the Indian Bigfoot

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bigfoot a Ventriloquist?

National Geographic reports a study that orangutans may manipulate their voices with leaves pushed to their lips. With the theory of Gigantopithecus being a common ancestor to both Orangutans and Bigfoot, perhaps this behavior extends to Bigfoot as well.

Like Bruce Wayne switching to his Batman voice, orangutans may be going deep to deter predators, and some are even using tools to sound more intimidating, a new study says.

Sometimes the apes use just their lips; sometimes they kiss their fingers. But in some communities, orangutans—male and female, young and old—go so far as to push leaves against their lips as they kiss-squeak.

To find out, researchers recorded kiss squeaks between 2003 and 2005 near a research station in Indonesia's Central Kalimantan Province on the island of Borneo. The team noted whether the sounds had been made with hands, leaves, or lips alone.
"Classic" kiss squeaks—lips only—were fairly high pitched, registering around 3,500 hertz. When hands were used, the frequency dropped to an average of 1,800 hertz. Leaves further deepened the sound, to an average of around 900 hertz.

Deeper, Bigger, Badder
In most animals vocal pitch and body size are tightly connected: Larger vocal organs create larger, deeper sound waves.

So perhaps, the new study says, the orangutans are trying to fool predators into thinking the apes are bigger than they actually are.
"This effect [probably] further discourages the predator from the hunt," said study co-author Madeleine Hardus, a behavioral biologist with the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Though the team didn't gauge predator reactions to the various kiss squeaks, she thinks the popularity of the leaf method hints at its effectiveness.
But Hardus doesn't expect leaf kissing to sweep Borneo.

"Most of the areas where it is currently used are isolated, and we do not expect it to spread to other populations," she said.
"Although, where it currently exists, almost all of the orangutans use it."
Findings to be published tomorrow in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bigfoot's walking cousins

Just some videos showing how primates walk upright. All major apes do, a;lthough not are aas well engineered as the Orangutan. It is interesting to see the gait of these and finally I have a clip of the patterson film.






Full Disclosure: I want to believe in Bigfoot. After reviewing several videos fo this post I noticed one thing that is different about the patterson film. The primate in the Patterson film does not swing from side to side as much as the other primates.

I do not make any conclusions or hypothesis beyond this, but thought you may want to discuss why this is the case. Any opinions?

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