International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1215–1228

Peaceful Meaning for the Silent Bared-Teeth Displays of Mandrills



We studied the meaning of silent bared-teeth displays in a captive group of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). We observed the displays mostly in positive interactions, in which case they could advertise the sender's peaceful intentions, though at times they also occurred as a response to aggression. We found no relationship between the direction of agonistic interactions and the display. Both variants of the display, with closed or open jaws, exhibited mostly symmetrical patterns. The evolutionary convergence of the closed and open bared-teeth displays might be related to the dominance style of mandrills.


Agonism appeasement facial expression Mandrillus sphinx primates 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abernethy, K. A., White, L. J. T., and Wicking, E. J. (2002). Hordes of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx): extreme group size and seasonal male presence. J. Zool. 258: 131–137.Google Scholar
  2. Altmann, J. (1974). Observational study of behaviour: sampling methods. Behaviour 49: 227–265.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Andrew, R. J. (1963). The origin and evolution of the calls and facial expressions of the primates. Behaviour 20: 1–107.Google Scholar
  4. Angst, W. (1974). Das Ausdrucksverhalten der Javeneraffen, Macaca fascicularis Raffles. Fortschritte der Verhaltensforschung, Vol. 15, Parey, Berlin.Google Scholar
  5. Bernstein, I. S. (1970). Some behavioral elements of the Cercopithecoidea. In Napier, J. R., and Napier, P. H. (eds.), Old World Monkeys, Academic Press, New York, pp. 263–295.Google Scholar
  6. Bolwig, N. (1964). Facial expressions in primates with remarks on a parallel development in certain carnivores (A preliminary report on work in progress). Behaviour 22: 167–192.Google Scholar
  7. de Vries, H., Netto, W. J., and Hanegraaf, P. L. H. (1993). Matman: a program for the analysis of sociometric matrices and behavioural transition matrices. Behaviour 125: 157–175.Google Scholar
  8. de Waal, F. B. M., and Luttrell, L. M. (1985). The formal hierarchy of rhesus macaques: an investigation of the bared-teeth display. Am. J. Primatol. 9: 73–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dixson, A. F. (1998). Primate Sexuality, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  10. Douglas, J. M., and Sudd, J. H. (1980). Behavioural coordination between an aphis (Symydobius oblongus von Heyden; Hemiptera: Calliphidae) and the ant that attends it (Formica lugubris Zetterstedt; Hymenoptera: Formicidae): an ethological analysis. Anim. Behav. 28: 1127–1139.Google Scholar
  11. Hoshino, J., Mori, A., Kudo, H., and Kawai, M. (1984). Preliminary report on the grouping of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) in Cameroon. Primates 25: 295–307.Google Scholar
  12. Jouventin, P. (1975a). Observations sur la socio-écologie du mandrill. Terre et Vie 29: 493–532.Google Scholar
  13. Jouventin, P. (1975b). Les róles des colorations du mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx). Z. Tierpsychol. 39: 455–462.Google Scholar
  14. Mellen, J. D., Littlewood, A. P., Barrow, B. C., and Stevens, V. J. (1981). Individual and social behavior in a captive troop of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Primates 22: 206–220.Google Scholar
  15. Petit, O., Abegg, C., and Thierry, B. (1997). A comparative study of aggression and conciliation in three cercopithecine monkeys (Macaca fuscata, Macaca nigra, Papio papio). Behaviour 134: 415–432.Google Scholar
  16. Petit, O., and Thierry, B. (1992). Affiliative function of the silent bared-teeth display in moor macaques (Macaca maurus): Further evidence for the particular status of Sulawesi macaques. Int. J. Primatol. 13, 97–105.Google Scholar
  17. Preuschoft, S. (1992). “Laughter” and “smile” in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Ethology 91: 220–236.Google Scholar
  18. Preuschoft, S. (1995). ‘Laughter’ and ‘Smiling’ in Macaques. PhD. Thesis. Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht, Utrecht.Google Scholar
  19. Preuschoft, S., and van Hooff, J. A. R. A. M. (1997). The social function of ‘smile’ and ‘laughter’: variations across primate species and societies. In Segerstråle, U., and Molnàr (eds.), Where Nature Meets Culture: Nonverbal Communication in Social Interaction, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 171–189.Google Scholar
  20. Redican, W. (1975). Facial expressions in nonhuman primates. In Rosenblum, L. A. (ed.), Primate Behavior, Vol. 4, Academic Press, New York, pp. 103–194.Google Scholar
  21. Rogers, M. E., Abernethy, K. A., Fontaine, B., Wickings, E. J., White, L. E. C., and Tutin, C. E. (1996). Ten days in the life of a mandrill horde in the Lopé Reserve, Gabon. Am. J. Primatol. 40: 297–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Setchell, J. M., and Dixson, A. F. (2002). Developmental variables and dominance rank in adolescent male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Am. J. Primatol. 56: 9–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Siegel, S., and Castellan, N. J. (1988). Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, McGraw-Hill, Singapore.Google Scholar
  24. Thierry, B. (1986). A comparative study of aggression and response to aggression in three species of macaque. In Else, J. G., and Lee, P. C. (eds.), Primate Ontogeny, Cognition and Social Behaviour, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 307–313.Google Scholar
  25. Thierry, B. (2000). Covariation of conflict management patterns across macaque species. In Aureli, F., and de Waal, F. B. M. (eds.), Natural Conflict Resolution, University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. 106–128.Google Scholar
  26. Thierry, B., Demaria, C., Preuschoft, S., and Desportes, C. (1989). Structural convergence between silent bared-teeth display and relaxed open-mouth display in the Tonkean macaque (Macaca tonkeana). Folia Primatol. 52: 178–184.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. van Hooff, J. A. R. A. M. (1967). The facial displays of the catarrhine monkeys and apes. In Morris, D. (ed.), Primate Ethology, Weidenfeld& Nicolson, London, pp. 7–68.Google Scholar
  28. van Hooff, J. A. R. A. M. (1972). A comparative approach to the phylogeny of laughter and smiling. In Hinde, R. A. (ed.), Non-verbal Commmunication, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 209–241.Google Scholar
  29. Wickings, E. J., and Dixson, A. F. (1992). Testicular function, secondary sexual development, and social status in male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Physiol. Behav. 52: 909–916.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d'Ecologie, Physiologie & EthologieCNRS UPRStrasbourgFrance

Personalised recommendations