Researchers in Japan studied orangutan drawings made at a Japanese zoo. They discovered that the apes’ preferred drawing style and color palette shifted with the seasons. Molly, an orangutan who drew nearly 1,500 drawings between 2006 and 2016, was particularly prolific. Molly’s artwork became more vibrant in hue as the seasons changed, whereas Yuki’s drawings were primarily made when another orangutan gave birth.
- Researchers in Japan studied orangutan drawings made at a Japanese zoo.
- They discovered that the apes’ preferred drawing style and color palette shifted with the seasons.
- Molly’s artwork became more vibrant in hue as the seasons changed, whereas Yuki”s drawings were primarily made when another orangutans gave birth.
- The researchers believe their findings “may provide some clues about the emergence of drawings in drawings in human beings’” and that the art of chimpanzees and human children may also be linked to moods and environmental factors such as weather and daily life events.
- The study was published in the journal Animals and was conducted by the Tama Zoological Park in Japan.
According to a recent study, drawings by five orangutans in a Japanese zoo were studied and found to be linked to environmental factors such as seasons, daily life events, and even changes in keeper identity. Seven hundred ninety orangutans were studied, 656 of which were randomly selected from Molly’s drawings. Depending on the time of year, the orangutans preferred purple in the spring and green in the summer and winter, according to the study’s findings. During another orangutan’s birth, Molly drew with a greater emphasis on the color red. The content and patterns of the drawings changed as Molly’s life became more mundane. On one occasion, she was given a new set of art supplies, while on another, an elementary school class came to visit, and her caretaker was swapped out.
A study of hundreds of drawings made by five female orangutans at Tama Zoological Park in Japan has shown that nonhuman primates can create art that reflects their own unique personalities and moods. According to research published in the journal Animals, some orangutans’ drawing style may change with the seasons, which may reflect changes in their mental state.
Almost 1,500 drawings were produced between 2006 and 2016 by the five artists provided with drawing supplies. One orangutan, Molly, produced the vast majority of these artworks, which were notable for their complexity compared to the drawings of her fellow apes.
In their new study, the authors examine 790 orangutan drawings and 656 of Molly’s. “The drawing behavior of these five orangutans is not random, and that differences among individuals might reflect differences in styles, states of mind, and motivation to draw,” according to their findings.
These differences were evident in the colors used, the shapes they chose to draw and how much canvas space each orangutan covered. Because she used a lighter touch with her crayons, Molly’s drawings had less contrast than those of the other animals.
According to researchers, Molly’s artwork was found to be the most complex, followed by Yuki’s. Using only one color and pressing hard on the crayon, Kiki’s drawings were noticeably different from those of the other participants in the competition. “
It was noted that Molly’s artistic output changed as the seasons did as well. For example, in the spring, she used purple as her primary color, while green became more prominent in the summer and winter. Photographs taken when another orangutan gave birth, on the other hand, were marked in red.
Molly’s summer drawings contained more “loops,” which researchers believe “could be a cue indicating a good mood due to the weather and the presence of more visitors,” compared to her winter drawings.
According to the study authors, the orangutans’ canvases were filled with three primary motifs: loops, circles, and “fan patterns,” according to the study authors. It has been observed in other nonhuman primates, including chimpanzees, and in the art of human children.
Because of this similarity among the drawings of chimpanzees, human children, and orangutans, the researchers believe their findings “may provide some clues about the emergence of drawings in human beings.”