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Carnivorous orangutans: Translation from the Darwinese

In “Vegetarian orang-utans eat world’s cutest animal” (New Scientist, 17 January 2012) Michael Marshall reports,

When fruit is scarce, try chomping on a slow loris. That seems to be the strategy adopted by the normally vegetarian orang-utans, which have been spotted knocking the small primates out of trees and killing them with a bite to the head.

Note the following:

All the documented hunts took place when there was little fruit available, which may push the apes to meat-eating, says Hardus.

By contrast, chimpanzees hunt more when fruit is abundant, perhaps because it doesn’t matter if they waste energy on a failed hunt.

Translation from the Darwinese: A number of great apes are carnivorous at times, and no simple rule seems to govern their preferences.

We didn’t realize that the slow loris was the world’s cutest animal: Here is a video argument for that view:

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2 Responses to Carnivorous orangutans: Translation from the Darwinese

  1. “All the documented hunts took place when there was little fruit available, which may push the apes to meat-eating, says Hardus.
    By contrast, chimpanzees hunt more when fruit is abundant, perhaps because it doesn’t matter if they waste energy on a failed hunt.”

    Translation from the Darwinese: A number of great apes are carnivorous at times, and no simple rule seems to govern their preferences.

    What makes the original statement “Darwinese”?

  2. Jeopardy answer-

    Tastes like chicken…
    .
    .
    .

    What did the first orangutan to eat a loris say (after the first bite)?

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