Behavioral research has provided another insight into the mental workings of our fellow apes: linkurl:orangutans can play charades; . This finding enriches our concept of primate communication, a phenomenon most likely important in the transmission of customs and the eventual establishment of cultures among our primate cousins. I wrote about linkurl:chimp culture; (and orangutan customs) in our August issue. While it doesn't appear that orangutans can mime linkurl:__Gone with the Wind__; by flailing their shaggy orange arms, they do seem to alter gestural cues to speed the attainment of goals, much like players of the old-timey parlor game trying to extract accurate guesses from team members. A human gesticulator playing charades might repeat and intensify a gesture when her team is close to guessing the correct answer or may abandon a particular gesture when her team is heading down the wrong track. Orangutans, studied by psychologist linkurl:Richard Byrne; and his...

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