When it comes to food, humans have plenty to choose from and no shortage of preferences. Animals don’t — even without access to breads and sweets, they still manage on meats or plants, or the occasional overlap of the two. But that overlap may have just grown a little larger, because an orangutan has been caught cheating on his proverbial diet.
Specifically, it’s the Bornean orangutan that researchers have followed. Its breed has been a research subject for ages, with over sixteen thousand hours of observation time compiled; despite that, a team from the University of Cambridge followed one of the orangutans into the depths of his forest home. He showed hostility every step of the way, but eventually — and despite his best efforts to conceal it — the team witnessed the orangutan eating the bones, skin, tail, and fur of a dead squirrel.
The current theory is that orangutans at large haven’t necessarily turned into carnivores; that would imply they had the speed and agility to catch their prey. Rather, it means that the breeds have no problems playing the scavenger — and more importantly, that they can develop unique dietary habits and preferences. In that way, they’re a lot more like humans than once thought; now there’s another factor that binds the species together.