Fruit-eating animals are known to use their spatial memory to relocate fruit, yet, it is unclear how they manage to find fruit in the first place.
Chimpanzees gazing up tree crowns in their search for fruit. © Ammie Kalan
Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have now investigated which strategies chimpanzees in the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, use in order to find fruit in the rain forest. The result: Chimpanzees know that trees of certain species produce fruit simultaneously and use this botanical knowledge during their daily search for fruit.To investigate if chimpanzees know that if a tree is carrying fruit, then other trees of the same species are likely to carry fruit as well, the researchers conducted observations of their inspections, i.e. the visual checking of fruit availability in tree crowns. They focused their analyses on recordings in which they saw chimpanzees inspect empty trees, when they made “mistakes”.
ContactKarline R. L. Janmaat,
Animal Cognition, 10 April 2013
Karline R. L. Janmaat | Max-Planck-Institute
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