The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Social Customs in Captive Chimpanzees

Cultural transmission may be more complicated than a simple case of monkey see, monkey do. At the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia, one study shows that affiliation plays a major role in the spread of handclasp grooming through a captive chimpanzee troop. This style of grooming, in which partners hold hands above their heads, is well documented in some wild chimpanzee populations and is one of the better‐known examples of ape culture. Kristin Bonnie and Frans de Waal (Primates 47 [2006]) have shown how this socially learned behavior spread from one adult female through much of the captive chimpanzee group.

Over the course of 12 years, Bonnie and de Waal documented all observed cases of handclasp grooming, as well as other affiliative behaviors such as grooming and sitting in close proximity to others. They found no significant patterns by age or sex in grooming partnerships, and, with one exception, all documented grooming pairs consisted of at least one individual who had been seen to handclasp‐groom previously. Furthermore, they found that social affiliation—time spent in close proximity to another—was the best predictor of whether an animal would develop handclasp grooming. Handclasp grooming in this troop appears to have originated from a single adult female, Georgia, who was involved in all 12 of the documented cases that occurred in the first year of the study. From her the behavior spread through most of the chimpanzee troop via friendly associations between experienced and inexperienced handclasp groomers. These findings are of interest to anthropologists studying nonhuman primate culture as well as those who study the transmission of human social customs."


No comments:

Post a Comment