Limits...
Traditions in spider monkeys are biased towards the social domain.

Santorelli CJ, Schaffner CM, Campbell CJ, Notman H, Pavelka MS, Weghorst JA, Aureli F - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: From the initial 62 behaviors surveyed 65% failed to meet the necessary criteria for traditions.No pattern of geographical radiation was found in relation to distance across sites.Our findings promote A. geoffroyi as a model species to investigate traditions with field and captive based experiments and emphasize the importance of the social domain for the study of animal traditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom. c.santorelli@chester.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Cross-site comparison studies of behavioral variation can provide evidence for traditions in wild species once ecological and genetic factors are excluded as causes for cross-site differences. These studies ensure behavior variants are considered within the context of a species' ecology and evolutionary adaptations. We examined wide-scale geographic variation in the behavior of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) across five long-term field sites in Central America using a well established ethnographic cross-site survey method. Spider monkeys possess a relatively rare social system with a high degree of fission-fusion dynamics, also typical of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and humans (Homo sapiens). From the initial 62 behaviors surveyed 65% failed to meet the necessary criteria for traditions. The remaining 22 behaviors showed cross-site variation in occurrence ranging from absent through to customary, representing to our knowledge, the first documented cases of traditions in this taxon and only the second case of multiple traditions in a New World monkey species. Of the 22 behavioral variants recorded across all sites, on average 57% occurred in the social domain, 19% in food-related domains and 24% in other domains. This social bias contrasts with the food-related bias reported in great ape cross-site comparison studies and has implications for the evolution of human culture. No pattern of geographical radiation was found in relation to distance across sites. Our findings promote A. geoffroyi as a model species to investigate traditions with field and captive based experiments and emphasize the importance of the social domain for the study of animal traditions.

Show MeSH
Percentage of behaviors, which met criteria for traditions, belonging to the three domain categories (social, food-related and other) at each site.See Table S1 for the division of the 22 traditions into the three domains and Figure 1 for the traditions at each site.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3044143&req=5

pone-0016863-g002: Percentage of behaviors, which met criteria for traditions, belonging to the three domain categories (social, food-related and other) at each site.See Table S1 for the division of the 22 traditions into the three domains and Figure 1 for the traditions at each site.

Mentions: The occurrence of the 22 identified traditions varied across sites (Table 1). On average 57% of the identified traditions were in the social domain (Table 2). The observed bias of traditions toward the social domain is not surprising given the relative prevalence of social behaviors in the spider monkey repertoire, reflected by over half (53%) of the 62 behavior variants examined in our survey belonging to the social domain. However, this bias is still relevant from a comparative perspective when evaluating the relative occurrence of traditions in previous primate studies, where, unlike for spider monkeys, the majority belonged to the food-related domain [3], [6]. When the percentage of traditions in the social domain was calculated out of the identified number of traditions at each site, it ranged from 43% at Punta Laguna to 67% at Corcovado and Runaway Creek (Figure 2). Similar classifications across chimpanzee and orangutan (Pongo spp.) study sites further highlights species differences in the distribution of traditions across domains. The mean percentage of traditions in the social domain across the nine chimpanzee study sites and across the six orangutan study sites was 42% and 34% respectively, which is lower than the mean value across the five spider monkey sites (Table 2). There was, however, high variability especially across chimpanzee sites with the percentage of traditions in the social domain ranging from 0% to 64%.


Traditions in spider monkeys are biased towards the social domain.

Santorelli CJ, Schaffner CM, Campbell CJ, Notman H, Pavelka MS, Weghorst JA, Aureli F - PLoS ONE (2011)

Percentage of behaviors, which met criteria for traditions, belonging to the three domain categories (social, food-related and other) at each site.See Table S1 for the division of the 22 traditions into the three domains and Figure 1 for the traditions at each site.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3044143&req=5

pone-0016863-g002: Percentage of behaviors, which met criteria for traditions, belonging to the three domain categories (social, food-related and other) at each site.See Table S1 for the division of the 22 traditions into the three domains and Figure 1 for the traditions at each site.
Mentions: The occurrence of the 22 identified traditions varied across sites (Table 1). On average 57% of the identified traditions were in the social domain (Table 2). The observed bias of traditions toward the social domain is not surprising given the relative prevalence of social behaviors in the spider monkey repertoire, reflected by over half (53%) of the 62 behavior variants examined in our survey belonging to the social domain. However, this bias is still relevant from a comparative perspective when evaluating the relative occurrence of traditions in previous primate studies, where, unlike for spider monkeys, the majority belonged to the food-related domain [3], [6]. When the percentage of traditions in the social domain was calculated out of the identified number of traditions at each site, it ranged from 43% at Punta Laguna to 67% at Corcovado and Runaway Creek (Figure 2). Similar classifications across chimpanzee and orangutan (Pongo spp.) study sites further highlights species differences in the distribution of traditions across domains. The mean percentage of traditions in the social domain across the nine chimpanzee study sites and across the six orangutan study sites was 42% and 34% respectively, which is lower than the mean value across the five spider monkey sites (Table 2). There was, however, high variability especially across chimpanzee sites with the percentage of traditions in the social domain ranging from 0% to 64%.

Bottom Line: From the initial 62 behaviors surveyed 65% failed to meet the necessary criteria for traditions.No pattern of geographical radiation was found in relation to distance across sites.Our findings promote A. geoffroyi as a model species to investigate traditions with field and captive based experiments and emphasize the importance of the social domain for the study of animal traditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom. c.santorelli@chester.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Cross-site comparison studies of behavioral variation can provide evidence for traditions in wild species once ecological and genetic factors are excluded as causes for cross-site differences. These studies ensure behavior variants are considered within the context of a species' ecology and evolutionary adaptations. We examined wide-scale geographic variation in the behavior of spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) across five long-term field sites in Central America using a well established ethnographic cross-site survey method. Spider monkeys possess a relatively rare social system with a high degree of fission-fusion dynamics, also typical of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and humans (Homo sapiens). From the initial 62 behaviors surveyed 65% failed to meet the necessary criteria for traditions. The remaining 22 behaviors showed cross-site variation in occurrence ranging from absent through to customary, representing to our knowledge, the first documented cases of traditions in this taxon and only the second case of multiple traditions in a New World monkey species. Of the 22 behavioral variants recorded across all sites, on average 57% occurred in the social domain, 19% in food-related domains and 24% in other domains. This social bias contrasts with the food-related bias reported in great ape cross-site comparison studies and has implications for the evolution of human culture. No pattern of geographical radiation was found in relation to distance across sites. Our findings promote A. geoffroyi as a model species to investigate traditions with field and captive based experiments and emphasize the importance of the social domain for the study of animal traditions.

Show MeSH