In order to help some orangutan females choose mates, a team of Dutch researcher has come up with the novel idea of creating a Tinder for apes. If successful, the new mating program could aid in making the process of choosing a potential mate easier and less costly in terms of time and financial resources.
Thomas Bionda, a behavioral biologist, is one of the many scientists involved in the new Tinder for Orangutans program. The researcher declared that the project has already been approved, and it will last approximately four years.
During this period, Bionda and the other scientists working at the Dutch Zoo, want to ascertain if female orangutans are able to respond to visual cues when searching for potential mates, instead of relying on their sense of smell.
He also explained that if the program is successful, the costs associated with breeding orangutans will lower than before. The chief scientist said that finding a potential mate for an ape such as an orangutan is a strenuous, lengthy, and sometimes risky process.
Potential mates have to be transported from afar and brought into the orangutan’s enclose. Even then, there’s no guarantee that the ape will accept him or her as a potential mate. Bionda’s team sought to make the selection process easier, by taking advantage of modern technology.
The scientist and his team want to create an orangutan match-making platform, very similar to Tinder, the world’s largest online dating platforms. Over the next couple of years, Bionda and the other scientists working at the Dutch zoo wants to test this clever platform on several female orangutans.
How does it work? As the Dutch scientists explained, a female orangutan will be selected from the lot and will be shown pictures of male orangutans. The female will take a good look at the pictures, and will react if they see a male orangutan matching their expectations.
However, the scientists said that setting up the Tinder for orangutans mating program proves to be a challenging enterprise. First of all, as Bionda explained, female orangutans usually react to olfactive cues when choosing a mate, meaning that they know for certain if they will react to the pictures of orangutans.
The second major challenge is constructing a sturdy device. The team said that female orangutans don’t react too well when choosing a mate. For this purpose, the scientists have constructed a tablet reinforced with steel bars.
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