There’s a ‘Tinder for orangutans’ – Orang you glad?
A zoo in the Netherlands hopes to encourage emm.. dating in orangutans by allowing females to select a mate by pushing a button on a screen.
Like humans, things don’t always go well when a male and female ape first meet. But instead of a trip to the local Starbucks, a male orangutan may have schlepped all the way from Singapore.
A primate park in Apeldoorn, Denmark is trying “Tinder for orangutans” to increase the chance of a successful match.
The zoo’s 11-year-old female orangutan Samboja will be shown photos of males so researchers can find out more about how females make dating choices.
“After seeing the photos, the monkeys have to push a button on the screen,” the park said. “In this way, we can measure their capacity for reaction.”
Tinder: swipe right on cheeks
The Tinder project hopes to prove whether looks alone can provoke orangutan attraction.
Some human women like soulful eyes; some well-developed pecs. Orangutans seem to enjoy a nice pair of cheeks.
“For orangutans, appearances appear to be an important factor in choosing a partner,” according to Wilhema zoo in Germany. “Apparently, many females find the cheeks attractive.”
Earlier results show that bonobo apes “swipe right” on photos of potential dates having sex or searching for lice.
Thomas Bionda, a behavioral biologist at Apeldoorn, pointed out:
“This is completely digital, of course…Usually, smell plays an important role too. But with the orangutans, it will be what you see is what you get.”
Tinder can be frustrating for apes, too.
Female orangutan Samboja successfully pressed the touchscreen, then pulled on the protective frame around the tablet before punching and smashing the device.
Siobhan is a freelance writer, research addict and lover of twisted history. If you like horrible but amazing history, check out her website www.interesly.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/interesly. Or you can reach her through www.siobhanoshea.com.