Natures wonders: orangutans use pain killer plants (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 07, 2018, 16:00 (290 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE: In creatures such as insects, the ability to self-medicate is almost certainly innate; woolly bear caterpillars infected with parasitic flies seek out and eat plant substances that are toxic to the flies. But more complex animals may learn such tricks after an initial discovery by one member of their group. […] That behavior may then have been passed on to other orangutans.

DAVID’S comment: […] the above comment about woolly bears suggests their behavior is instinctual.

dhw: Everything has to have a beginning. How did the woolly bear caterpillar first learn to self-medicate? Your comment and that of the researchers simply reeks of “large organisms chauvinism”.

I simply agreed that the orangutan usage was a local event, like the hundredth monkey story in the Pacific islands, and the woolly bear was instinct. Insects do develop instincts don't they. You just like to deploy Shapiro's quote.

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