How skywalker gibbons prepare for and plan out their breakfast

Planning for the future has been thought to be a uniquely human skill. But biologists are finding that other species are capable of making plans and executing them.

In a paper published Royal Society (link here), scientists observing endangered skywalker gibbons in their wild habitat in southwestern China found that their morning behavior was different depending on whether they were planning on traveling far to fruit trees for breakfast or dining on leaves close to their sleeping trees.

Fruit breakfast trees were more distant from sleeping trees compared with leaf trees. Gibbons left sleeping trees and arrived at breakfast trees earlier when they fed on fruits compared with leaves. They travelled fast when breakfast trees were located further away from the sleeping trees. Our study suggests that gibbons had foraging goals in mind and plan their departure times accordingly. This ability may reflect a capacity for route-planning, which would enable them to effectively exploit highly dispersed fruit resources in high-altitude montane forests.

Leaving their sleeping trees early when they had plans for fruit for breakfast kept them safer, and helped in competition for the fruit with other species.

We suggest that gibbons plan their route to breakfast trees when they leave sleeping trees. This planning serves as a cognitive mechanism by which small apes can buffer the effects of predation and interspecific competition to facilitate first access to important feeding sites. In sum, our findings provide evidence for the ability of 'route-planning' in skywalker gibbons.

Seems to me these gibbons to a better job of planning their breakfasts than I do.

By the way, how great a name is skywalker gibbon??

Hat tip: Steve Stewart-Williams