Orang-utans invent musical instrument


In the first known example of animals using tools to make sounds, orang-utans have been discovered using crudely made leaf “instruments” to simulate voices other than their own. It seems to be purely practical — they use the leaves to make sounds that are lower than their voices, so as to imitate larger animals and deter predators — but it raises the possibility of an understanding and appreciation of music. It’s also a further example of the advanced intelligence of some apes: to deliberately imitate another animal shows that they can understand the effect that this will have on other creatures. Full New Scientist story here.


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