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Re: Excellent website about William "Strata" Smith

On Mon, 22 Dec 2003, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
> http://www.unh.edu/esci/wmsmith.html
> P.S., If anyone has bibliographic info on non-nest making tool use in orang
> utans, please send them to me!

Not bibliographic but it'll do as a start (part of a larger focus on
signs of culture in orangs):

In an article in the Jan. 3, 2003, Science, the scientists presented
evidence for cultural transmission of 24 behaviors. These include:

    * using leaves as protective gloves or napkins
    * using sticks to poke into tree holes to obtain insects, to extract
      seeds from fruit or to scratch body parts
    * using leafy branches to swat insects or gather water
    * building sun covers for nests or, during rain, bunk nests above the
      nests used for resting.

According to first author Carel van Schaik of Duke University, the impetus
to look for cultural transmission among orangutans arose from earlier
findings that orangutans use tools. In particular, van Schaik and his
colleagues had discovered that groups of orangutans in Sumatra use sticks
to pry out fat-rich seeds from a fruit called neesia, thereby avoiding the
stinging hairs that surround the seeds.

And on the PBS side


In 1994, Carel van Schaik of Duke University became the first
anthropologist to document the use of tools among wild orangutans. His
study investigated orangutans in the swampy Gunung Leuser National Park,
in the northwest corner of Sumatra, who were developing implements to help
themselves eat.