African wild apes notice and often react to novel items in their environment — ScienceDaily

The international research team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analyzed a video of a remote camera capture device located in the forests of African monks, and learned how wild mites respond to these strangers. Object. Responses vary from species to species, even among individuals in the same species, but one thing is always the same: the apes must have noticed the camera.

"Our goal is to see how chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas react to unfamiliar objects in the wild, because new object experiments are often used in comparative psychology research, and we want to know if there is any difference between these three species. Any difference," said Ammie Kalan, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "We are particularly surprised by the differences in responses observed between chimpanzees and bonobos. Since they are sister species and share many of the same genetic makeup, we expect them to respond similarly to the camera, but this is not the case."

"The chimpanzees are not interested in the overall camera traps – they barely notice their existence and are usually not affected by them," Karan said. “However, bonobos seem to be more troubled by camera traps; they hesitate and will actively stay away from them.”

Individuals within a species react differently to the camera. For example, apes that live in areas with more human activity (such as nearby research sites) can desensitize unfamiliar items and become indifferent to such encounters in the future. However, another member of the same species who has less exposure to strange or new items may be more interested in them. The age of cockroaches plays a similar role. "Otaru will look at camera traps by staring at them for a long time," Karan said. “Like human children, they need more information and an understanding of their environment. Curiosity is a way of doing this.”

The range of reactions shown, as well as the complex differences between species and within a single species, suggests that scientists need to consider how animals respond to the presence of unfamiliar monitoring equipment in their natural habitat. “When trying to collect accurate monitoring data, changes in the behavior of unfamiliar items within and between species can be problematic,” Karan said. “In order to curb this influence, it is worth a familiar time that wild animals can get used to new items.”

Despite this potential complication, the use of camera traps to monitor wild animal populations remains one of the most useful options. “Our knowledge is often limited by the number of groups or populations we can study, but using monitoring techniques like camera traps is an effective way to solve this problem,” Kalan said. “I think it's very interesting to consider the response of wildlife to these new technologies from the perspective of behavioral flexibility. I hope more researchers will investigate novel reactions when conducting surveillance surveys.”

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