I Wanna Draw Like You: Inter- and Intra-Individual Differences in Orang-Utan Drawings
Anthropo-Lab, ETHICS EA7446, Lille Catholic University, 59000 Lille, France
UFR LLSHS, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, 95100 Paris, France
Department of Animal Sciences, Teikyo University of Science, Uenohara 409-0193, Japan
Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IPHC UMR 7178, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
Institut Universitaire de France, 75231 Paris, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lucia Regolin and Charles Snowdon
Received: 14 September 2021
Revised: 4 November 2021
Accepted: 8 November 2021
Published: 9 November 2021
Drawing has increasingly been proposed as an enrichment activity for captive primates in zoological parks and research institutes. The monkeys and apes are free to use the materials at their disposal and are not constrained or conditioned to show this behaviour. This provides a good opportunity to collect drawings by non-human primates and allows for comparative studies between hominids. This study is based on 749 drawings recovered from five orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus) at Tama Zoological Park in Japan, where caretakers regularly facilitated drawing activities for the apes. Analyses showed that individuals differ in their drawing style, especially in the colours used, the space they filled, and the shapes they drew. One individual, Molly, did more complex drawings than other individuals and drew differently according to the seasons and her age. This study is the first to reveal such individual differences and can give some clues about the emergence of drawings in human beings.