Skip to comments.Study of Orangutans Yields New Ideas about Human Evolution
Posted on 12/16/2011 6:41:15 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Results from research conducted by a team of scholars and scientists on the dietary lives of orangutans in tropical Borneo have given possible clues to how very early human ancestors may have adapted, survived and changed millions of years ago. In addition, the results may help scientists better understand eating disorders and obesity in human populations today.
Led by evolutionary anthropologist Erin Vogel of Rutgers University (pictured below, right), the research team analyzed samples of compounds and byproducts in Orangutan urine over a 5-year period to determine the effects of protein recycling in their dietary, or eating behavior. What they found was that they have been able to survive through prolonged protein deficits by eating higher protein leaves and the inner bark of trees during lean times, as well as burning the energy from stored body fat and eventually muscles for extended times when their preferred diet of fruit is not available.
Borneo presents a very challenging environment for some of its faunal inhabitants. Many of the food-bearing plants they rely upon only produce appreciable quantities of fruit every four or five years, and when they do bear, the entire forest environment produces all at once. Animals, and particularly the orangutans, living there are thus forced to gorge themselves and gain a large amount of fat, living off their body fat reserves for the following three to four years during the cyclical "starving time". During the lean years they turn to hard foods, such as hard seeds and the starchy tissues beneath the bark of trees, supplementing the energy derived from the burning of their body fat and thus surviving an environment that otherwise would lead to starvation and death.
(Excerpt) Read more at popular-archaeology.com ...
Photo, from Top, Right: Rutgers Evolutionary Anthropologist Erin Vogel led five year study on protein deprivation of endangered orangutans. Credit: Rutgers
Ape culture hints at earlier evolutionThe complex behaviour of orangutans suggests human culture started to develop 14 million years ago, much earlier than thought. At this time the ancestors of chimps and orangutans diverged... Professor Van Schaik warned though that political unrest and habitat destruction could prevent further studies.
BBC News OnlineOrangutans and human originsHumans have a larger number of features that are uniquely shared with orangutans than with any other living ape. Schwartz (1984) proposed that humans are more closely related to orangutans than to chimpanzees - a model that contradicts the greater genetic similarity of base pair sequences in humans and chimpanzees.
Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz
Department of Anthropology
University of Pittsburgh
The view presented here is that genetic similarity of base pair sequences is not a necessary measure of phylogenetic relationship and that morphology continues to exist as an independently reliable source of information on evolutionary relationships. The orangutan model presents a conundrum for biological systematics over how to chose between morphological and genetic evidence when they are in conflict.New ape population foundConservationists believe about 2,000 rare apes are living out of sight in a remote lowland region of East Kalimantan. The find, if confirmed, will raise the number of known orang-utans in the world by about 10 per cent... The claim, by researchers from the US-based conservation group Nature Conservancy, is based on signs of nests made by the apes... They are in grave danger of extinction, because their habitat is under threat from illegal logging, forest fires and gold mining... Primate experts have predicted that the apes will be found only in zoos by the year 2020 unless immediate steps are taken to protect them.
BBC News Online
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To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
As a Christian, I do not believe in evolution but I DO have a brother that SMELLS like an ape.
A story on orangutans and evolution and they show two(?) redheads.
Thank goodness....she’s solved all these mysteries!! Wondert how much the grant was???
Looks like he is smoking a roach!
Kudos. We can always count on you Joe...
“Right turn Clyde”
“O I’m the King of the Swingers yeah/the jungle VIP/ I’ve reached the top and had to stop and that’s what’s botherin’ me/I wanna be a man, Man Cub/and stroll right into town/and be just like the other men, I’m tired ‘o’ monkeyin’ around’’. :-)
That’s a nice lookin’ orangutan there, I don’t care who you are.
`` What they found was that they have been able to survive through prolonged protein deficits by eating higher protein leaves and the INNER BARK OF TREES during lean times``
``If legends hold true then the Iroquois moved from the Southwest to the East over a long period of time. In their journey they canoed up the St. Lawrence River and in Three Rivers, Quebec (Canada), they were enslaved by the Algonquins. The Iroquois called them the Adirondacks. Which meant “bark eaters.” They had a habit of flavoring their food with shredded bark.``
Do you mean Obama evolved from Orangutans....
no, sorry I couldn’t do that to the Orangutans!
Really? No, not really?
Heh... yeah, I thought it was kinda mean that the name of the graphic is “orangutan3”.
I don’t care what species she is. She is sooooooo not guilty! ;^)
Get ready, they are building up for human- animal marriage.
Great - another waste of my taxes!