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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Innovative social behavior in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
Author(s): Casanova, Catarina C N
Mondragon-Ceballos, Ricardo
Lee, Phyllis C
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Keywords: Chimpanzees
Machiavellian Intelligence
Agonistic buffering
social status
Issue Date: Jan-2008
Citation: Casanova CCN, Mondragon-Ceballos R & Lee PC (2008) Innovative social behavior in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), American Journal of Primatology, 70 (1), pp. 54-61.
Abstract: We present evidence of agonistic buffering in captive chimpanzees, recorded from 1993 until 2005, mainly from ad libitum sampling in over 2000 hours of observation. A total of 33 agonistic buffering episodes were analyzed for context and effects of this complex social behavior. Agonistic buffering was directed at the whole chimpanzee colony as they supported an individual who initially received aggression from the alpha male, independently of the victim’s age, sex or social rank. Chimpanzee agonistic buffering behavior is compared with that in other non-human primate species, and we describe some particularities of chimpanzee agonistic buffering: the status of the buffers used - socially important offspring such as those from the alpha female - and the social rank of the adult male responsible for the buffering episode - alpha male. Possible functions for this behavior in chimpanzees are suggested as appeasement of group members in a particularly crowded captive setting, and/or as a “forced reconciliation” mechanism. Chimpanzees exhibit behavioral flexibility by adapting themselves to new social and physical situations and use novel behavior to achieve social benefits.
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