Chimpanzee lip-smacking facilitates cooperative behaviour
MetadataShow full item record
Signalling plays an important role in facilitating and maintaining affiliative or cooperative interactions in social animals. Social grooming in primates is an example of an interaction that requires coordination between partners but little is known about communicative behaviours facilitating this activity. In this study, we analysed the communication of wild chimpanzees of Budongo Forest, Uganda, as they entered and maintained a naturally occurring cooperative interaction: social grooming. We found that lip-smacking, a distinct multimodal oral gesture produced during grooming, coordinated this activity. Lip-smacking at the beginning of grooming bouts was significantly more often followed by longer and reciprocated bouts than silent grooming initiations. Lip-smacks were more likely to be produced when the risk of termination of the interaction by the recipient was high, for instance when grooming vulnerable body parts. Groomers were also more likely to produce lip-smacks during face-to-face grooming where the visual aspect of the signal could be perceived. Data are consistent with the hypothesis that chimpanzee lip-smacks function to coordinate and prolong social grooming, suggesting that this oral signal is an example of a communicative behaviour facilitating cooperative behaviour in chimpanzees.
Fedurek , P , Slocombe , K , Hartel , J A & Zuberbuehler , K 2015 , ' Chimpanzee lip-smacking facilitates cooperative behaviour ' Scientific Reports , vol 5 , 13460 . DOI: 10.1038/srep13460
Copyright 2015 the Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
PF was funded by Swiss National Science Foundation and European Research Council project grants (Prilang 283871) to KZ.