International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 500–512 | Cite as

Bonobos (Pan paniscus) Perform Branch Drag Displays before Long-Distance Travel

  • Isaac Schamberg
  • Dorothy L. Cheney
  • Robert M. Seyfarth
Article

Abstract

Many primates use objects in courtship and dominance displays, but little is known about such displays in other contexts. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) frequently perform “branch drag” displays in which an individual runs along the ground while holding a branch in one hand. We aim to understand how bonobos use branch drags in the context of group travel. Using observational data collected from a community of free-ranging bonobos at the Lui Kotale field site in the Democratic Republic of Congo we compare group travel that occurs after branch drags to travel in the absence of branch drags. We found that bonobos are much more likely to perform branch drags before travel to a distant feeding tree than before shorter bouts of travel. At some locations, bonobos also perform branch drags before a change in travel direction. Our results suggest that in specific contexts branch drags may provide information about upcoming group travel, and likely function to coordinate group movement.

Keywords

Bonobo Communicative display Object use Travel coordination 

Supplementary material

10764_2017_9957_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 26 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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