International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 133–163 | Cite as

Hand Preference in Free-Ranging White-Throated Capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in Costa Rica

  • Melissa A. Panger


I studied the hand preference patterns of individuals in three troops of white-throated capuchins (C. capucinus) in Palo Verde, Costa Rica, during 11 months from February 1995 to January 1996. I used focal and ad libitum sampling techniques and tested several frameworks that seek to explain and to predict primate hand use patterns via a variety of spontaneous tasks that differ in manipulative difficulty and required postural regulation: reach, tap, grab, carry, and object-use. The monkeys showed symmetrical hand use patterns for the easy tasks, reach and tap; strongly asymmetrical patterns for the highly manipulative task, object-use, at the individual level; and weak population-level biases for tasks requiring a degree of postural regulation, carry. The results for data on grab are inconclusive. These results do not support the available primate hand use frameworks and differ from most of the captive literature on hand preference in Cebus. The findings indicate that postural regulation may influence hand use patterns in nonhuman primates at the population level.

Cebus capucinus laterality hand preference handedness capuchin Costa Rica 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. Panger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley

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