Article published in:Developments in Primate Gesture Research
Edited by Simone Pika and Katja Liebal
[Gesture Studies 6] 2012
► pp. 129–146
Gesture use in consortship
Wild chimpanzees’ use of gesture for an ‘evolutionarily urgent’ purpose
Catherine Hobaiter | Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution and Scottish Primate Research Group, University of St Andrews, School of Psychology, St Andrews, KY16 9JP, Scotland
Richard W. Byrne | Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution and Scottish Primate Research Group, University of St Andrews, School of Psychology, St Andrews, KY16 9JP, Scotland
We describe the gestural communication of wild chimpanzees in the evolutionarily urgent context of consortship. Consortship represented the dominant context for the use of gestural communication by adult males in the Sonso community. Gesturing provided consorting males with the opportunity to communicate their intentions to the female, while avoiding the risk of also advertising these to other community males. The extensive use of gesturing by adult males differs from the low frequency reported in captivity, and emphasises the importance of studying behaviour in a natural population.
Published online: 12 June 2012
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