2

I usually work with the ancestors attribute of the post object:

if ( in_array( $target_id, $post->ancestors ) ) {
  // do whatever
}

But while debugging the post object I've seen that there is no trace of it.

Can someone help me understand the reason why this happens?

3

The reason you don't see it if you dump object is because it's not actual object property.

WP_Post implements magical __get() method for ancestors and several more keys like that. When you access $post->ancestors() what you actually get is not some value from the object, but return of get_post_ancestors() function executed on it.

So in a nutshell this is like a virtual API shortcut.

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