Primate Social Behavior

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Information about Primate Social Behavior

Published on December 28, 2007

Author: PaulVMcDowell

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Basics of primate research and characteristics of primate behavior, including grooming, dominance hierarchies, and agonistic interaction

Primate Social Behavior Are Chimps Like Us?

Why Study Primate Behavior? In terms of taxonomy and genetics, chimps and bonobos are our closest relatives. Anatomically, they are very similar to us Chimps have 98.5% of our genes Human and chimp ancestors diverged about six million years ago; chimps and bonobos separated about 4 million years ago So understanding chimpanzee behavior may give us a clue to our own and raise the question of which behavior may be genetically determined.

In terms of taxonomy and genetics, chimps and bonobos are our closest relatives.

Anatomically, they are very similar to us

Chimps have 98.5% of our genes

Human and chimp ancestors diverged about six million years ago; chimps and bonobos separated about 4 million years ago

So understanding chimpanzee behavior may give us a clue to our own and raise the question of which behavior may be genetically determined.

Other Dimensions of Primate Behavior To What Extent do genes govern our behavior? Ant society are genetically determined “ Instinctual” behavior is found among nonprimate mammals Humans are guided by culture Culture is the product of learning Culture involves language, lacking in all other species so far as we know. Whether chimps, bonobos, or even gorillas have language is a matter of debate Are their parallels between nonhuman primate behavior and our own?

To What Extent do genes govern our behavior?

Ant society are genetically determined

“ Instinctual” behavior is found among nonprimate mammals

Humans are guided by culture

Culture is the product of learning

Culture involves language, lacking in all other species so far as we know. Whether chimps, bonobos, or even gorillas have language is a matter of debate

Are their parallels between nonhuman primate behavior and our own?

Primatology: Basic Concepts Ethology : Study of any animal’s behavior Primatology: Study of nonhuman primate behavior, a subfield of ethology Field Research: To avoid influencing primate behavior, some researchers wait until the primates come to them, or at least get used to their presence Provisioning: Providing food to primates to shorten time in field; Japanese primatologists have relied on this technique for decades. The drawback is that provisioning does influence primate behavior

Ethology : Study of any animal’s behavior

Primatology: Study of nonhuman primate behavior, a subfield of ethology

Field Research: To avoid influencing primate behavior, some researchers wait until the primates come to them, or at least get used to their presence

Provisioning: Providing food to primates to shorten time in field; Japanese primatologists have relied on this technique for decades. The drawback is that provisioning does influence primate behavior

Social Groups Primates form social groups known as troops Primate interactive behavior is the most complex among nonhuman animals Why do primates form groups? Defense of resources against rival troops Defense against predators—ensuring safety in numbers Social control through dominance hierarchies Group cohesion achieved primarily through grooming, or picking through each other’s hair to remove stems, seeds, and dried skin. Protection and raising of young: mother-infant bonds become secure

Primates form social groups known as troops

Primate interactive behavior is the most complex among nonhuman animals

Why do primates form groups?

Defense of resources against rival troops

Defense against predators—ensuring safety in numbers

Social control through dominance hierarchies

Group cohesion achieved primarily through grooming, or picking through each other’s hair to remove stems, seeds, and dried skin.

Protection and raising of young: mother-infant bonds become secure

Types of Social Groups Fusion-fission society: Groups come and go; chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes) shown in the top photo Harems (gorillas): one male, several females as found in this group of gorillas; one male (an older silverback) and several females. There may be other, related males in the group Multimale (baboons): several males and females. Male dominance hierarchies are rigid

Fusion-fission society: Groups come and go; chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes) shown in the top photo

Harems (gorillas): one male, several females as found in this group of gorillas; one male (an older silverback) and several females. There may be other, related males in the group

Multimale (baboons): several males and females. Male dominance hierarchies are rigid

Mother-Infant Bonds Mother-infant bonds are strong among all primates (Top) mother baboon drags a reluctant infant along (Bottom) quality time between a mother chimp and her offspring Most apes and some monkeys give birth to one and sometime two offspring

Mother-infant bonds are strong among all primates

(Top) mother baboon drags a reluctant infant along

(Bottom) quality time between a mother chimp and her offspring

Most apes and some monkeys give birth to one and sometime two offspring

Social Behavior: Grooming All primates groom: one individual combs fur of another to pick out dried skin, parasites, grass leaves or seeds (top photo) Main function of grooming is interaction to maintain social bonds All primates but prosimians use fingers; some prosimians use tooth combs We haven’t lost the grooming habit, as this hairdresser shows (lower photo)

All primates groom: one individual combs fur of another to pick out dried skin, parasites, grass leaves or seeds (top photo)

Main function of grooming is interaction to maintain social bonds

All primates but prosimians use fingers; some prosimians use tooth combs

We haven’t lost the grooming habit, as this hairdresser shows (lower photo)

Social Behavior: Territoriality Home range : area of cyclical migration Core area: smaller unit which is the primary area of activity Chimps defend their core area against other troops These chimps are on patrol for that purpose; any “intruder” is in deep trouble if caught Baboons are more tolerant of baboons from other troops

Home range : area of cyclical migration

Core area: smaller unit which is the primary area of activity

Chimps defend their core area against other troops

These chimps are on patrol for that purpose; any “intruder” is in deep trouble if caught

Baboons are more tolerant of baboons from other troops

Social Behavior: Communication Gibbon calls (like this one) are closed communication systems Danger are indicated by high-pitched shouts; clatters and clicks indicate assembly. Shouts and clatters and clicks cannot be combined to form a third meaning. Chimps have some aspects of language Kanzi—bonobo capable of making requests by pressing computer keys with symbols Some chimpanzees, such as Washoe, were able to use American Sign Language Whether chimps have language remains a matter of debate

Gibbon calls (like this one) are closed communication systems

Danger are indicated by high-pitched shouts; clatters and clicks indicate assembly.

Shouts and clatters and clicks cannot be combined to form a third meaning.

Chimps have some aspects of language

Kanzi—bonobo capable of making requests by pressing computer keys with symbols

Some chimpanzees, such as Washoe, were able to use American Sign Language

Whether chimps have language remains a matter of debate

Social Behavior: Dominance Hierarchies Dominance hierarchies: systems of rank among nonhuman primates Here, the alpha chimp touches the back of the lower ranked one (top) Bonobo dominance behavior centers on females (bottom) Sons’ hierarchy depends on that of their mothers Curiously, females leave their natal troop and form the core of another troop.

Dominance hierarchies: systems of rank among nonhuman primates

Here, the alpha chimp touches the back of the lower ranked one (top)

Bonobo dominance behavior centers on females (bottom)

Sons’ hierarchy depends on that of their mothers

Curiously, females leave their natal troop and form the core of another troop.

Communication: Threats Chimps make calls of greeting or threats when two troops meet Threat gestures vary across species Baboons: baring canines (top) Chimpanzees: A s lack jaw is a sign of anger or extreme irritation Chimpanzee : Displays, screams (bottom), tearing vegetation are all common threats Reactions of target individuals who surrender mark their message by grimacing, crouching, or presenting their rear end to the dominant male

Chimps make calls of greeting or threats when two troops meet

Threat gestures vary across species

Baboons: baring canines (top)

Chimpanzees: A s lack jaw is a sign of anger or extreme irritation

Chimpanzee : Displays, screams (bottom), tearing vegetation are all common threats

Reactions of target individuals who surrender mark their message by grimacing, crouching, or presenting their rear end to the dominant male

Communication: Reconciliation Embracing is one common response similar to humans One individual may extending its hand for reassurance (top) Grooming is often used to curry favor from a dominant male Even kissing is common; where have we seen this before?

Embracing is one common response similar to humans

One individual may extending its hand for reassurance (top)

Grooming is often used to curry favor from a dominant male

Even kissing is common; where have we seen this before?

Sexual Behavior: Individual Estrus: cyclical female receptivity Swelling of sexual skin is found among monkeys, such as this hamadryas baboon, and among apes Receptivity is longer among bonobos and humans Sexual positioning in copulation Among most primates: male copulates with female from the rear Bonobos and human engage in frontal (ventro-ventral) copulation, as between this bonobo couple

Estrus: cyclical female receptivity

Swelling of sexual skin is found among monkeys, such as this hamadryas baboon, and among apes

Receptivity is longer among bonobos and humans

Sexual positioning in copulation

Among most primates: male copulates with female from the rear

Bonobos and human engage in frontal (ventro-ventral) copulation, as between this bonobo couple

Sexual Behavior: Partners Gibbons form lifetime monogamous pairs (top) Other species: Harems are found among baboons and gorillas (such as these two females, bottom) Multiple male-female sexuality among chimpanzees and especially bonobos Homosexual and heterosexual behavior are found among bonobos,

Gibbons form lifetime monogamous pairs (top)

Other species:

Harems are found among baboons and gorillas (such as these two females, bottom)

Multiple male-female sexuality among chimpanzees and especially bonobos

Homosexual and heterosexual behavior are found among bonobos,

Phases of Growth Newborns: cling to mother’s stomach Up to a year, they start riding mother’s back Juveniles form play groups, a good to learn basic skills Juveniles may also show empathy, as with this distressed adult Imitative behavior gradually integrates subadults into troop

Newborns: cling to mother’s stomach

Up to a year, they start riding mother’s back

Juveniles form play groups, a good to learn basic skills

Juveniles may also show empathy, as with this distressed adult

Imitative behavior gradually integrates subadults into troop

Foraging and Sharing Prosimians forage on insects and plant foods Most anthropoids eat roots, fruits, seeds—some species eat meat of small animals Gorillas (top) are strict vegetarians Chimpanzees often cooperate in stalking, killing prey, and sharing the meat Here, chimps are feasting on a red colobus monkey (bottom). About 10% of these monkeys are killed and eaten every year.

Prosimians forage on insects and plant foods

Most anthropoids eat roots, fruits, seeds—some species eat meat of small animals

Gorillas (top) are strict vegetarians

Chimpanzees often cooperate in stalking, killing prey, and sharing the meat

Here, chimps are feasting on a red colobus monkey (bottom). About 10% of these monkeys are killed and eaten every year.

Tool Making and Tool Use Chimpanzees at Gombe are famous for termite fishing with twigs They also use leaves as sponge Tool making and use may be culturally derived: Chimps in West Africa crack nuts but don’t fish for termites Other species: Bonobos make rain hats from leaves Orangutans also use tools Gorillas and gibbons do not make or use tools

Chimpanzees at Gombe are famous for termite fishing with twigs

They also use leaves as sponge

Tool making and use may be culturally derived:

Chimps in West Africa crack nuts but don’t fish for termites

Other species:

Bonobos make rain hats from leaves

Orangutans also use tools

Gorillas and gibbons do not make or use tools

Agonistic Behavior and Warfare Agonistic behavior characteristic of all species Conflict is mostly competition for females Competing for dominance is another source of conflict Primates were once thought incapable of killing their own kind. Chimpanzees Warfare actually was observed between one troop and a breakaway group. Cannibalism has been observed and reported Bonobos Philosophy: “Make love, not war” Frequent sexual contact between sexes and within one sex defers tension .

Agonistic behavior characteristic of all species

Conflict is mostly competition for females

Competing for dominance is another source of conflict

Primates were once thought incapable of killing their own kind.

Chimpanzees

Warfare actually was observed between one troop and a breakaway group.

Cannibalism has been observed and reported

Bonobos

Philosophy: “Make love, not war”

Frequent sexual contact between sexes and within one sex defers tension .

Primate Behavior and Fossil Hominid Behavior: Inferring the Past Similarities between nonhuman primate and human behavior Behavior suggests non-stone tool making might have been practiced before the Paleolithic. Interaction without language involves gestures and vocalization When did language become necessary? The answer is unknown Interpreting the evidence Nature of prehominid and early hominid society Child rearing techniques resemble our own Was hierarchy inevitable? So far, dominance hierarchies indicate yes. Was warfare inevitable? Bonobos are a make love, not war society; chimps are inclined toward conflict

Similarities between nonhuman primate and human behavior

Behavior suggests non-stone tool making might have been practiced before the Paleolithic.

Interaction without language involves gestures and vocalization

When did language become necessary? The answer is unknown

Interpreting the evidence

Nature of prehominid and early hominid society

Child rearing techniques resemble our own

Was hierarchy inevitable? So far, dominance hierarchies indicate yes.

Was warfare inevitable? Bonobos are a make love, not war society; chimps are inclined toward conflict

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