Orangutan and their Forms of Communication

The issue of orangutan communication is one that many people find to be interesting. They have an assortment of both verbal and non verbal methods that they use for this purpose. Researchers have been able to decode some of the meanings of them but there is still a great deal that they don’t fully understand.

They can make very loud calls that are heard for miles away in the rainforest. These are referred to as long calls as they can last for up to a full minute. After the long call they will give out a bellow. Most of the time it is the males that make these sounds. They have a very large throat sac where the sounds develop. They make these calls to warn other males of their territory. They also use them to entice females to come to them when they are ready to mate.

When an orangutan is disturbed it will make a sound called the kiss squeak. They will also make what is referred to as the grumph. Both of these sounds are out of curiosity and often out of fear. They are unique enough though that they will often scare of other animals that are in the area. It is also known that males will leave if they hear these sounds from other males. They don’t often engage in conflict so fleeing after such sounds offers them some warning.

There is evidence to indicate that orangutans will give out calls when there is bad weather approaching as well. It isn’t known why they do so since they live alone. It is believed that this isn’t to warn others. Instead the bad weather is a stressor to them, especially if they have young to care for. They make the calls as they become agitated by the impending storm. They will also start to prepare for it such as making a nest and having huge leaves to protect them from getting wet.

Vocally, orangutans are the least known to make sounds of all the apes. This isn’t because they don’t have the ability though. Instead it is due to the fact that they aren’t very social with each other. The females will encourage their offspring both vocally and non verbally. They will also discipline them in the same ways.

What is the most interesting is that some of the forms of orangutan communication are so similar to those of humans. For example they can laugh in a way that is very similar to that of a person. This can occur when they are playing and even tickling each other. They are extremely playful animals, and that is often observed between a mother and her offspring.

They are very good at picking up forms of communication from humans. You will often find employees around the exhibits at zoos. This is because many people think it is funny to teach orangutans to engage in negative behaviors such as picking their nose, throwing up, urinating on the glass, and giving the finger. It is believed that the orangutans view these gestures as signs of communication so they try to mimic them.

The area of orangutan communication though is still one with many puzzles. Researchers continue to evaluate what takes place and then to interpret it. Since these are loner animals though the chances of doing so are very limited. With the offspring the communication is often one way for many years. However, the bond that is formed between the mother and her young is very interesting. It is definitely one that is much stronger than the communication of many other animals out there.

Orangutan Communication
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