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Finding one's way in the rainforest

Human foragers of both sexes use the sun for finding direction from a very young age

How do human foragers find food or the way home in rainforests, where heavy vegetation limits visibility, without a map, compass, or smartphone? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, show that rainforest-dwelling Mbendjele BaYaka people from the Republic of Congo point to out-of-sight targets with high precision. Pointing accuracy was equally good in men and women; children’s performance improved when the sun was clearly visible in the sky.

© Karline Janmaat