, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 145–150

Grooming in primates: Implications for its utilitarian function


  • Michael Hutchins
    • Departments of Psychology & AnthropologyUniversity of Washington
  • David P. Barash
    • Departments of Psychology & ZoologyUniversity of Washington

DOI: 10.1007/BF02382848

Cite this article as:
Hutchins, M. & Barash, D.P. Primates (1976) 17: 145. doi:10.1007/BF02382848


Captive lion-tailed macaques, ring-tailed lemurs and Celebes black “apes” performed relatively more social grooming of areas which are inaccessible to self-grooming. Combined with considerable circumstantial evidence, this suggests that primate grooming may subserve real utilitarian functions in parasite removal, in addition to its acknowledged social functions.

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1975