Carrying, Sharing, and Hand Preference in Tufted Capuchins (Cebus apella)
Source: International Journal of Primatology, Volume 20, Number 1, February 1999 , pp. 153-162(10)
Abstract:We examined the relationship among carrying, food-sharing, and hand preference in tufted capuchins (Cebus apella). The rationale was to evaluate further the use of Cebus as an alternative primate model to Pan for behavior relevant to early hominid evolution. We first examined bipedalism and food-sharing within an established social group, and then examined the direction and strength of hand preference for food carrying in an expanded sample. Several aspects of capuchin behavior warrant discussion. First, bipedal carrying and food-sharing occurred more frequently when we provided bulky foods than when we provided smaller foods. Second, food-sharing was characterized by passive tolerance, rather than active giving, between subjects. Third, subjects shared food primarily with immatures and followed a pattern of reciprocal exchange. Finally, we found no evidence for population-level hand preference for carrying. We posit that an array of behavioral similarities among Cebus, Pan, and Homo evolved through convergent processes, and in this regard capuchins can be seen as an alternative primate model to chimpanzees for the evolution of early hominid behavior.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. National Institutes of Health Animal Center, Poolesville, Maryland 20837 2: Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Publication date: 1999-02-01