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Bonobos, Pan paniscus, chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, and marmosets, Callithrix jacchus, prefer to feed alone


Bullinger, Anke F; Burkart, Judith M; Melis, Alicia P; Tomasello, Michael (2013). Bonobos, Pan paniscus, chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, and marmosets, Callithrix jacchus, prefer to feed alone. Animal Behaviour, 85(1):51-60.

Abstract

Many primates share food, but the motives behind this food sharing are mostly not known. We investigated individuals' preference to feed either alone or together with a tolerant partner. Subjects (chimpanzees who are highly competitive around food, bonobos who are more tolerant around food and common marmosets who are cooperative breeders and share food actively with some partners) were tested with a door-opening paradigm. In a 2 × 2 design with the factors ‘food’ and ‘partner’, subjects had the opportunity to eat piles of sharable food, if present, and/or to open the door, thereby allowing the partner, if present, to join the subject. While food had a main effect on the subject's behaviour, the presence of the partner did not. Individuals of all species opened the door much more often if there was no food available. These results suggest that regardless of their differing social organizations, chimpanzees, bonobos and marmosets do not voluntarily co-feed, but do not mind having company if there is no food present.

Abstract

Many primates share food, but the motives behind this food sharing are mostly not known. We investigated individuals' preference to feed either alone or together with a tolerant partner. Subjects (chimpanzees who are highly competitive around food, bonobos who are more tolerant around food and common marmosets who are cooperative breeders and share food actively with some partners) were tested with a door-opening paradigm. In a 2 × 2 design with the factors ‘food’ and ‘partner’, subjects had the opportunity to eat piles of sharable food, if present, and/or to open the door, thereby allowing the partner, if present, to join the subject. While food had a main effect on the subject's behaviour, the presence of the partner did not. Individuals of all species opened the door much more often if there was no food available. These results suggest that regardless of their differing social organizations, chimpanzees, bonobos and marmosets do not voluntarily co-feed, but do not mind having company if there is no food present.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:22 Mar 2013 11:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:27
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0003-3472
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.10.006

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