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Did you know? Some Primates build Nests 📽 📽

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

Birds are not the only creatures that build nests. Many primates retreat into a cosy nest at night - some even have daytime sleeping platforms. For example:

  • Dwarf bush babies (galagoides) and mouse lemurs build round nests of leaves.

  • The ruffed lemurs line nests of leaves with their own fur.

  • Gorillas have nests of crudely arranged vegetation on the ground.

  • Orangutans and Chimpanzees bend and interlace branches and leaves to construct treetop sleeping platforms.

Several species of primates including the Orangutan are known to build nests for shelter (Wikicommon -

“Nest-building in primates refers to the behaviour of building nests by extant strepsirrhines (lemurs and lorisoids) and hominid apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and humans). Strepsirrhines build nests for both sleeping and also for raising families. Hominid apes build nests for sleeping at night, and in some species, for sleeping during the day.”

A young ape stays in the nest with the mother until the age of three or four. During that time the young learn from their mother and with age improve the construction of the resting area. The basic circular pattern of the Chimpanzee nest is inherited, but is refined by experience.

These are some demonstrations from individuals on how the first human shelters may have been made.

Dwarf bush baby

Ruffed lemur

Gorilla baby -

Chimpanzees -

It is also known that some apes’ shelters have evolved into a home to provide a resting area for unwell animals until they feel better. For example: A pregnant Orangutan builds a day nest in which she gives birth. Similarly, it is not hard to imagine early hominids building nests for those in need, such as females ready to give birth.

The move into family home life may have been a natural progression.

We hope, dear Reader, you enjoyed the first of our “Did you know?” blogs. Thank you for following us. You are part of the global movement that cares. Thank you for being a part of it.🌳

📽 The Jane Godall Institute - Chimpanzees also need beds to sleep in (1.57)

📽 Bulindi Chimps - "Nest-making is a serious business!" (1.45)


Reader's Digest Publication 1995 “Intelligence in Animals”


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