Ape artistry
BBC Wildlife|February 2022
The creative output of orangutans reveals a sensitivity to their environment

ART MAY NOT BE A UNIQUELY HUMAN endeavor. Apes, monkeys, elephants, dolphins, and even rabbits can be encouraged to express themselves via pencil and paper. And new research on the artistic efforts of orangutans suggests that their work varies according to changes in the world around them.

The new study, published in the journal Animals, focuses on hundreds of drawings produced by five female orangutans at Japan’s Tama Zoological Park, where keepers provided them with crayons and paper over many years as part of a behavioural enrichment programme.

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