A new study discovered that humans have strongly influenced orangutans in 70,000 years. This study could teach people how to save orangutans from extinction. ( Jorge Guillen | Pixabay )
The relationship between humans and orangutans has never been thoroughly analyzed, which is part of the problem.
What was discovered about orangutans?
A new study found that humans have greatly influenced the development of orangutans over the millennia. Orangutans often adapt their lifestyles and habitats as a result of human actions.
The study was published June 27 in the journal [ScienceScienceAdvances
The previous assumption in the scientific community is that the environment for the orangutans was the main driver of change, such as the availability of food ,
"The orangutan that existed 70,000 years before the modern humans arrived in Southeast Asia may have been quite different," lead author Stephanie Spehar, an associate professor.
How did scientists discover changes among orangutans?
Although orangutans were found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, they used to be found in many different parts of Asia. The researchers discovered this by examining the fossil record and other archaeological evidence linking changes among the orangutans and their interactions with humans.
Nearly 20,000 years ago, the orangutan population shrank as humans entered the picture. Early humans probably chased a large number of orangutans with projectile weapons. Since these animals multiply only slowly, the hunt reduced the number of orangutans on the planet. It forced many orangutans to change their way of life.
Future impact of this orangutan study
Scientists used this study to learn how to protect this animal from extinction. If this study had been published many years ago, people would have learned with which strategies these animals could be saved. It is possible that thousands of them were saved if people tried years ago.
"While much work has already been done to understand the endangered orangutan, this latest study shows that much remains to be done. Make sure protection strategies are as robust and far-reaching as possible," said Professor Mike Bruford, a co-author of the study. "Only then will we have a fighting chance to prevent this incredibly important animal from being wiped out."
Conversational strategies to rescue orangutans were developed from the study. The goal should be to reduce the hunt for the orangutans and improve their habitats so their populations can grow. This study could also shed light on other animals endangered by humans.
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