Personality in the behaviour of great apes: temporal stability, cross-situational consistency and coherence in response

Using a multidisciplinary approach, the present study complements ethological behaviour measurements with basic theoretical concepts, methods and approaches of the personality psychological trait paradigm. Its adoptability and usefulness for animal studies are tested exemplarily on a sample of 20 zoo-housed great apes (five of each of the following species): bonobos, Pan paniscus; chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes […]

The prevalence of osteoarthritis in wild versus captive great ape skeletons

This research examined whether the prevalence and skeletal distribution of osteoarthritis (OA) differed between wild and captive great ape skeletons. A secondary, but important, aspect of this research focused on the development of improved aging techniques based on methods commonly used on human osteological samples. Tests were conducted pertaining to the effect that wild versus […]

Understanding visual barriers: evidence for Level 1 perspective taking in an orang-utan, Pongo pygmaeus

An adult female orang-utan used an untutored series of physical manipulations to guide humans to food placed beyond her reach. Through a series of experiments that involved different visual occlusions, this orang-utan appeared to take into account humans’ visual states when using them to retrieve inaccessible goals. These data suggest that she was able to […]

The mentalities of gorillas and orangutans

book review: The Mentalities of Gorillas and Orangutans. Comparative Perspectives.Edited by SUE TAYLOR PARKER, ROBERT W. MITCHELL & H. LYN MILES. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1999). Pp. x+419. Price £50.00.

Pathology and diseases of great apes at the National Zoological Park

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430090204.abs Knowledge of the diseases of great apes in captivity is essential for captive management of self-sustaining populations. This survey of medical and pathology records of orangutans, gorillas, and one chimpanzee at the National Zoological Park was conducted to provide a data base for improving health care of captive apes. Strongyloidiasis, balantidiasis, and entamoebiasis […]

Review of medical literature of great apes in the 1980s

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430090206.abs The medical problems of great apes including gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), orangutans (Pongo pymaeus), and chimpanzees (Pan sp.) published during the last decade are reviewed. Anesthetic techniques, diseases or organ systems, neoplasia, infectious diseases, and reproductive problems are reviewed. Gonadal tumors and atherosclerosis in great apes appear frequently in the literature. Diseases with suspected […]

How orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) innovate for water

We report an observational field study that aimed to identify innovative processes in rehabilitant orangutans’ (Pongo pygmaeus) water innovations on Kaja Island, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. We tested for the basic model of innovating (make small changes to old behavior), 4 contributors (apply old behavior to new ends, accidents, independent working out, social cross-fertilization), development, and […]

Orangutans (Pongo spp.) may prefer tools with rigid properties to flimsy tools

Preference for tools with either rigid or flexible properties was explored in orangutans (Pongo spp.) through an extension of D. J. Povinelli, J. E. Reaux, and L. A. Theall’s (2000) flimsy-tool problem. Three captive orangutans were presented with three unfamiliar pairs of tools to solve a novel problem. Although each orangutan has spontaneously used tools […]

Environmental Influences on the Activity of Captive Apes

Forty-one zoological gardens in seven European countries were visited to investigate activity level in captive environments for great apes. Forty-three groups of gorillas and 68 groups of orangutans were observed. The seven factors quantified for each of the environments were size of the enclosure, usable surface area, frequency of feeding, number of animals, and number […]

Factors influencing the well-being and longevity of captive female orangutans

I examined factors affecting the health and mortality of female orangutans in captivity and identified specific aspects of husbandry that appear to be critical to long-term survival in captivity. There are certain high-hazard events in the life of a captive female orangutan, including birth and parturition. Other than the short periods of high hazard, and […]