We recently demonstrated, by mining observational data, that forest-living orangutans can communicate using gestures that qualify as Pantomime. Pantomimes, like other iconic gestures, physically resemble their referents. More elaborately, pantomimes involve enacting their referents. Holding thumb and finger together at the lips and blowing between them to mean balloon is one example. Here we sketch evidence of pantomime in other great apes, methodological concerns, and sophisticated cognitive capabilities that great ape pantomimes suggest.
Pantomime in Great Apes: Evidence and ImplicationsAnimal Sentience, Intelligence, and Behavior
Citation InformationRusson, A. E., & Andrews, K. (2011). Pantomime in great apes: Evidence and implications. Communicative & integrative biology, 4(3), 315-317.