, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 261-276
Date: 01 Apr 1995

Behavioral laterality in captive bonobos (Pan paniscus): Replication and extension

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Abstract

We report observational data on behavioral laterality in 10 captive bonobos (Pan paniscus)at the San Diego Zoo. The unimanual measures include carrying, leading limb in locomotion, self-touching, face-touching, reaching, and gestures. We also recorded bimanual feeding in these subjects. A significant population level left-hand bias exists for carrying. Right-hand biases occur for leading limb in locomotion and gestures. During bimanual feeding, the bonobos hold food items with the left hand while feeding with the right hand. Overall, bonobos exhibit behavioral asymmetries that are similar to previous findings in other pongid ape species. The asymmetries in gestures and bimanual feeding represent novel findings with theoretical implications for the origins of tool use and language.