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Journal Article

Neighbouring chimpanzee communities show different preferences in social grooming behaviour

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons16231

Van Leeuwen,  Edwin J. C.
Comparative Cognitive Anthropology, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons2699

Cronin,  Katherine A.
Comparative Cognitive Anthropology, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons73

Haun,  Daniel B. M.
Comparative Cognitive Anthropology, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Research Group for Comparative Cognitive Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany;
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons72862

Mundry,  Roger
Max Planck Research Group for Comparative Cognitive Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany;
Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Cronin, K. A., Haun, D. B. M., Mundry, R., & Bodamer, M. D. (2012). Neighbouring chimpanzee communities show different preferences in social grooming behaviour. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279, 4362-4367. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1543.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-1D07-3
Abstract
Grooming handclasp (GHC) behaviour was originally advocated as the first evidence of social culture in chimpanzees owing to the finding that some populations engaged in the behaviour and others do not. To date, however, the validity of this claim and the extent to which this social behaviour varies between groups is unclear. Here, we measured (i) variation, (ii) durability and (iii) expansion of the GHC behaviour in four chimpanzee communities that do not systematically differ in their genetic backgrounds and live in similar ecological environments. Ninety chimpanzees were studied for a total of 1029 h; 1394 GHC bouts were observed between 2010 and 2012. Critically, GHC style (defined by points of bodily contact) could be systematically linked to the chimpanzee’s group identity, showed temporal consistency both withinand between-groups, and could not be accounted for by the arm-length differential between partners. GHC has been part of the behavioural repertoire of the chimpanzees under study for more than 9 years (surpassing durability criterion) and spread across generations (surpassing expansion criterion). These results strongly indicate that chimpanzees’ social behaviour is not only motivated by innate predispositions and individual inclinations, but may also be partly cultural in nature.