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dc.contributor.authorBowler, Mark Timothy
dc.contributor.authorMesser, Emily Jane Elizabeth
dc.contributor.authorClaidiere, Nicolas
dc.contributor.authorWhiten, Andrew
dc.identifier.citationBowler , M T , Messer , E J E , Claidiere , N & Whiten , A 2015 , ' Mutual medication in capuchin monkeys - Social anointing improves coverage of topically applied anti-parasite medicines ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 5 , 15030 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 215914502
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 4de4b16d-5931-4551-bb70-3d71280fc1f6
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84943799528
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000362559000001
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-2426-5890/work/65013959
dc.descriptionThis research was made possible through Wellcome Trust grants WT094440MA and WT098133A to A. Whiten. The study was begun while NC was supported by a Research Fellowship from the Fyssen Foundation and later by a John Templeton Foundation grant to AW.en
dc.description.abstractWild and captive capuchin monkeys will anoint themselves with a range of strong smelling substances including millipedes, ants, limes and onions. Hypotheses for the function of the behaviour range from medicinal to social. However, capuchin monkeys may anoint in contact with other individuals, as well as individually. The function of social anointing has also been explained as either medicinal or to enhance social bonding. By manipulating the abundance of an anointing resource given to two groups of tufted capuchins, we tested predictions derived from the main hypotheses for the functions of anointing and in particular, social anointing. Monkeys engaged in individual and social anointing in similar proportions when resources were rare or common, and monkeys holding resources continued to join anointing groups, indicating that social anointing has functions beyond that of gaining access to resources. The distribution of individual and social anointing actions on the monkeys’ bodies supports a medicinal function for both individual and social anointing, that requires no additional social bonding hypotheses. Individual anointing targets hard-to-see body parts that are harder to groom, whilst social anointing targets hard-to-reach body parts. Social anointing in capuchins is a form of mutual medication that improves coverage of topically applied anti-parasite medicines.
dc.relation.ispartofScientific Reportsen
dc.rightsCopyright 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
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.titleMutual medication in capuchin monkeys - Social anointing improves coverage of topically applied anti-parasite medicinesen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.‘Living Links to Human Evolution’ Research Centreen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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