Acclimatisation

Just a quick ponder after a brief flick past a nature documentary.

It was a documentary on Orangutans in the rainforest of somewhere. The brief piece I saw featured a baby learning to make a shelter out of the leaves in order to protect itself from the rain. Vision then switched to an adult who was of course, far more adept at making a shelter – that she carried with her around the place while it rained – in order to avoid getting wet.

My question. Don’t we expect acclimatisation? I mean, if you lived in a place that rained multiple times a day, almost every day, wouldn’t you just get used to the water? If not, then why not build a permanent shelter?

I just wonder why, if they are so used to their environment, they are uncomfortable in it. Building a shelter implies they are uncomfortable with the rain, with getting wet. I wonder because its a term used a lot. It’s almost a given, that spend long enough in any given environment and we adapt. It becomes less uncomfortable, less inconvenient – we acclimatise, get used to it.

Why aren’t they used to the rain? It looks mightily inconvenient to be carrying around a heap of leaves wound together, its time-consuming to make and it isn’t permanent. There might be an answer to this, and again I’m always happy to hear answers.

I guess my uneducated thought process assumes they would be used to operating in the rain, considering their habitat, and that they would essentially just ignore it, or have adapted to be just as productive in the rain as outside it.

 

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