The love of drawing, as it turned out, is inherent innot only to people, but also to some great apes. The female orangutan Molly has drawn more than 1000 drawings in her life. As you know, people in their work try to convey emotions, mood and state of mind. But why do monkeys draw? To find out, scientists analyzed a huge number of drawings of primates, including hundreds of works by Molly. As we found out, monkeys have different abilities. In addition, the images themselves in animals changed depending on the season. As the researchers suggest, this may indicate that the animals have mood changes. Thus, the “creativity” of primates is not entirely random. According to scientists, the data obtained can help determine the mental basis of our own artistic abilities.
Monkeys have different abilities to draw
According to Cédric Suer, a primatologist fromInstitute of France, the idea to conduct such a study came to her mind when she watched her little daughter draw. The child did it as if the drawing was of great importance to him. Then she wondered what significance the drawing had for primates.
Sewer knew that monkeys in zoos andReserves are sometimes given drawing tools and they paint. However, there is no evidence that great apes paint in the wild. When Cedric Suer began to take an interest in the topic, she learned about the female Bornean orangutans living in the Japan Zoo, who regularly draw with crayons on blackboards. By the way, these are the smartest monkeys, which in many ways resemble humans and even know how to communicate with each other. For ten years, from 2006 to 2016, the zoo keepers managed to collect almost one and a half thousand drawings. Most of them were drawn by the orangutan Molly.
Orangutan female Molly was caught far away1952 year. She began painting at an advanced age - when she was 54 years old. Molly was kept separate from the other orangutans, although she could observe them from her cage. Molly died in 2011.
As the caretakers note in their notes, Mollydrew differently from the rest of the monkeys. Usually primates finished their drawings very quickly, but Molly could work on every hour or more. In addition, this female had a different attitude to her work. If the rest of the orangutans threw their drawings on the floor or even tore them up, then began to paint on a new canvas, then Molly did not destroy the drawings, and often continued to paint them.
Were the monkey pictures meaningful?
Scientists in their study, the results of whichpublished in the journal Animals, analyzed almost 800 drawings of orangutans. They paid attention to a variety of parameters, such as the chosen colors for the drawing, the shapes depicted, the pressing force of the crayon, the filling of the canvas, etc. In addition, the scientists separately analyzed more than 650 drawings made by Molly to find out if they changed over time. if so, what changes have occurred.
Scientists have noticed major differences in colorthe preferences of the animals, as well as in how hard they pressed on the pencils, how much they covered the canvas with the drawing, and how much of it they occupied. The differences reflect the animal's personality, motivation, and cognitive abilities, the researchers say.
Molly's drawings were distinguished by light pressure on the crayon.With age, the female began to use fewer flowers. In addition, it began to cover less area of the canvas and moved away from the center. Perhaps the changes were caused by increasing physical limitations, as well as blinding in the left eye.
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But, even with age, Molly's drawings were morecomplex, brush strokes are more varied. As the seasons changed, so did the color preferences of the monkey. For example, in the summer she chose green, and for spring drawings - purple. When another orangutan was born nearby, it is used in the drawing mainly in red.
Other orangutans used bright colors, and theirthe drawings were more like children's scribbles with strong pressure. Drawings were mainly located in the center of the sheet. The strokes were more primitive. Will this help to understand why our ancient ancestors began to draw?
As the authors of the study note, it is now possible withit’s safe to say that non-human primates do not paint because they should. They do it because they like it as much as people do. Finally, I note that orangutans are the rarest species of monkeys that are on the verge of extinction.