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Why Dinosaurs Extinct Became Why study non-human primates? Primates have a shared evolutionary history.Thus studying them may reveal possible forms of.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Dinosaurs Extinct Became Why study non-human primates? Primates have a shared evolutionary history.Thus studying them may reveal possible forms of."— Presentation transcript:


2 Why Dinosaurs Extinct Became

3 Why study non-human primates? Primates have a shared evolutionary history.Thus studying them may reveal possible forms of hominid potentials, such as –Culture: shared & negotiated system of meaning that is learned and put into practice by interpreting experience and generating behavior –Symbolic communication: “Stop casting porosity” “Come on baby, light my fire” –Cognitive abilities: mental mapping / behavioral flexibility –Technology (how to modify the natural world to suit own purposes) –Learning styles (emulation, imitation, innovation, active) –Prosocial behavioral styles: e.g. grooming for purposes other than hygiene; alliance building through sexual offerings and food sharing

4 Are these potentials solely the prerogative of Primates? Or are there other mammals who display these potentials? And if there are, what does this tell us about hominid potentials? Humpback whalesHumpback whales –Bubblenet fishing –Not common to all pods African Hunting DogsAfrican Hunting DogsAfrican Hunting DogsAfrican Hunting Dogs –Learned behavior: large-animal hunting; waterhole location –Not common to all packs African elephantsAfrican elephants –Allomothering, altruism, tool use, compassion, self- awareness, medicine (to induce labor)

5 CULTURE A shared and negotiated system of meaning that is informed by knowledge that is learned (through emulation, imitation, experimentation, corrective teaching) and put into practice by interpreting experience and generating behavior. Socially Learned Traditions A shared system of behavior that is informed by knowledge that is learned (through emulation and imitation) and put into practice by interpreting experience and generating behavior.

6 Bubblenet Feeding A socially learned tradition among humpback whales Found in all oceans 25 to 40 tons 40 - 50 feet Feed on krill (small, shrimp-like crustaceans) and small fish Eats 1 - 1 1/2 tons a day Best know for their songs

7 Bubblenet feeding Type of behavior known as social foraging Unique to humpback whales (Alaska, NE No. Amer, west coast S. America) Mechanics / factors that guide bubblenet feeding poorly understood Used to hunt and capture small schooling fish (herring) Members of bubblenet groups have specific roles (driver, blockers) Bubble netting

8 Culture (Socially Learned Traditions) in Non-human Primates New World Monkeys –Capuchins Old World (Afro-Eurasia) Monkeys –Macaques (Rhesus; Snow monkeys) and Baboons Apes –Gorillas –Orangutans –Chimpanzees (Common; Bonobo)

9 Capuchins Learn skills from each other Can make mental plans for a future task Sometimes demonstrate altruistic behavioral tendencies Demonstrate behavior matching (facial, gestures, postures, specific behavioral patterns) which helps maintain harmonious relationships All of these are found in macaques, baboons, and apes

10 Tufted or Brown Capuchin Cebus apella Northern & Central S. America Body: 14-20 in.; tail: 14-20 in. Primary & secondary rainforest to semi- deciduous lowlands and montane forests Fruit (66%), seeds, nectar, animal prey 40 years Quadrupedal; jumping to 9-12 ft Multifemale-multimale (equal proportions) groups up to 14 individuals One male is dominant to all others During first 2/3rds of estrus, females follow & solicit alpha male Ea. individual maintains olfactory identity by washing palms and feet in its own urine and scratching its fur Sleep in palm trees

11 Capuchin Tool Use Sticks as probes Stones as signaling devices Hammerstones –Cracking seeds, nuts, hollow branches –Select best tool for the job Stones for digging –Roots & tubers –One hand uses stone, other used as scoop Select best type of stone for job at hand: hardness, size, weight Notice bipedal stance

12 Capuchin hammer / anvil technique Used to crack open palm nuts. Significance of this activity: requires complex cognitive mapping (planning and foresight) and an understanding of the concept of sequencing. Spontaneous inventions under novel conditions

13 Capuchin tool use Helping hands Helping hands Sequential tool use in lab setting Sequential tool use in lab setting Cracking palm nuts in the wild Cracking palm nuts in the wild

14 Macaques 15-19 species Afghanistan to Japan to SE Asia Except for humans, macaques are the MOST adaptable primates Adapt to the changing environment and shifting food sources very rapidly Behaviorally, very plastic Long tailed macaque fishing Snow monkeys

15 Japanese Snow Monkey Cultural Behavior Spontaneous inventions under novel conditions Washing sweet potatoesWashing sweet potatoesWashing sweet potatoesWashing sweet potatoes Winnowing seedsWinnowing seeds Mobbing predatorsMobbing predators Changing callsChanging calls Monkey WaitersMonkey WaitersMonkey WaitersMonkey Waiters

16 Orangutan Culture Fruit probes: pulpy fruit - rich source of protein - guarded by stiff, sharp hairsFruit probes: pulpy fruit - rich source of protein - guarded by stiff, sharp hairs Honey wandsHoney wands Measuring Depth of WaterMeasuring Depth of WaterMeasuring Depth of WaterMeasuring Depth of Water Spontaneous inventions under novel conditions

17 Gorilla Culture Mental mapping Complex problem solving Tool manufacture and use

18 Gorilla Culture: Food Preparation Sophisticated complexity of design in nettle-, bedstraw-, and wild celery preparation Techniques different for each plant type Not all groups use all food prep. methods.

19 Gorilla Bedstraw Preparation Carefully pick out green stems, fold concertina-like over dried stems, roll into tight bundle, thus avoiding the clinging hooks, eat by shearing bites Prep necessitates that gorilla correctly sequence multiple stages, correctly integrate parts of the process, and coordinate the two hands in complementary roles Leaves covered with tiny hooks Green leaves surround mass of dried stems

20 Gorilla Culture Use of Sticks At left: stabilization during food processing Above: testing depth of stream / stabilization

21 Chimpanzee (Pan) Two species: common / bonobo Social org. most flexible among apes: fission-fusion Communities: multifemale-multimale; 40- 70 individuals; share a home range Adolescent females emigrate Mothers & offspring: strong bonds Adult interactions mediated by complex communication modes (verbal / non- verbal) Species differ in specific expression of community interaction & adult social relationships Common Bonobo

22 Chimpanzee Technology & Tool Use Chimps make and use a diverse and rich kit of tools and, with the exception of humans,* they are the only living primates to consistently and habitually use and make tools. Chimps are able to premeditate the use of tools; i.e., to acquire a tool now for some action they intend to perform later. They go large distances to find the right kind of stone or stick, and then lug it home. They seem to have had its ultimate use in mind all the while. Chimp style of teaching (especially that involving tools) to the young is relaxed – by example and not by rote. *There is some disagreement among primatologists as to whether or not orangutans consistently and habitually use and make tools.

23 Technology and Tool Types Nut cracking (stone or wooden hammer and pestle) Ant dipping (trimmed twigs, grass stems) Termite “fishing” (trimmed twigs, grass stems) Water dipping (leaf-sponge, leaf-scoop) Honey extraction (wooden clubs, wooden probes) Pestle pounding (palm leaf) Algae scooping (trimmed fern leaves) Sitting cushions (leaves) Exploratory probing (sticks, twigs) Leaf clipping Missile throwing (stones, sticks, tree limbs) Marrow picking (bone-splinter probes) Hunting (individual; cooperative) Curing

24 Chimpanzee Tool Use

25 Nut Cracking Wooden and/or stone hammer and anvil used to crack open nuts of both oil palm tree and hazelnut tree (Coula sp.) Females often take hammer into trees, break open hazelnuts there instead of bringing them down to anvil Individuals may use same stone over & over again (sometimes hide stone) Behavior characterized by requirement for both bimanual and asymmetric manipulation Some communities forage for the same species of nuts, but doesn’t break them open; instead the eat the skin off of the nut’s surface. Video: Teaching of hammer & anvil use

26 Ant Dipping Most common prey: safari ant Environment influences wand length and techniques used Chimps select tools, use techniques that will not overly disturb and cause ants to abandon an area - a sustainable method of harvesting that secures a renewable source of food. Three techniques –Dip on migrating ants on the forest floor –Insert perforating wand into nest, followed by dipping wand –Dig up nests with hands Tool set: top two are probes. bottom: perforating tool with leafy branches intact. Above perforating tool is 8” ruler. Video: Ant dipping

27 Termite Fishing Use long flexible strips of bark, twig or grass Sequential steps –uproot stem or use teeth to clip stem at base; –remove large leaf from the distal end before transporting to termite nest One community has modified typical “fishing pole”: –modifying end into a 'paint brush' tip (somewhat like the orangutan honey- dipping wand) –Insert paint brush end into mound, capture more termites this way Video: termite fishing Chimps Invent Brush Tool

28 Termite Fishing In some communities, fishing is two-stage process using two different plant sources –Sturdy stick used to probe into subterranean nest Made from a particular tree species — Thomandersia hensii –Flexible fishing wand then inserted into hole open by probe Made from a specific herb species - Sarcophrynium spp. –Takes considerable sophistication Video showing use of puncturing stickVideo showing puncturing stick AND tool sharing

29 Water Dipping Using Leaves Put leaf in mouth, lightly crunch, use as a sponge Leaf put in the mouth, folded into “V” shape, used to dip water from holes

30 Honey Extraction Neighboring communities use different tools/technologies to extract honey Use tools to dig for, bash into, and dip honey out of bee nests or hives –Use small sticks to forage for honey from the small nests of stingless bees –Use much bigger sticks to get honey out of honeybee nests –Use tree limbs to smash open nets in tree trunks –Leaf sponges-absorbent wedges that they make out of chewed leaves.

31 Extracting honey from underground hives Extremely complex - requires cognitive mapping –An elaborate understanding of unseen nest structure, combined with –A clear appreciation that tools permit the location of unseen resources, and –a precise three-dimensional sense of geometry for reaching the honey chamber from the correct angle Stout stick used as a perforator & excavator –First to “feel” where the resource is located underground. –Then used to excavate tunnel into hive Tunnel dug sideways so as to reach the underground chamber and prevent soil from getting mixed with the honey once the membrane of the chamber is broken.

32 Extracting honey from nests in trees Handled in two ways: –Stick probes –Limb pestles Video: chimp using tree limb as pestle to open honey nest Video: chimp using tree limb to open honey nest

33 Pestle Pounding In some communities pestles used to access the center of the oil palm crown Chimp climbs to center of the crown Spreads out radiating mature leaves using hands and feet to expose the base of central young shoots Young shoots removed by tugging & petioles eaten Petiole also used as a pestle to pound at & excavate center of the palm crown, resulting in a softening of the palm heart Palm heart is extracted by hand and eaten

34 Algae Scooping Wand used to scoop floating algae off surface of ponds Chimpanzee selects a fern stalk, breaks it off with its teeth Leaves stripped off, then tool inserted into water and a scooping action of the wrist follows to fish out the surface algae. Stick brought up to the mouth and algae eaten

35 Cushions Arrange large leaves on the ground as cushions to sit on in order to avoid contact with the wet, moist ground beneath

36 Leaf Clipping: Symbolic Behavior? Function varies across communities. In some communities –Only done by males / done before displaying In other communities –Done by both males and females / done to indicate a desire to be groomed or to say “I’m interested in you” In at least one community, meaning has changed –Originally used as before displaying –Now used before resting

37 Chimpanzee Hunting Chimpanzees are unique in that they hunt cooperatively. A dominant male often leads a group of males and females who surround and kill red colobus monkeys.

38 Hunting Behavior Usually done by males (sometimes females participate Variety of styles –Individual –Cooperative (males hunt, selected females share in kill) Free-for-all (alpha male gets the kill regardless of whether he participated or not) Team involving pusher, blockers, netters (only those who participate get a share of the kill): extremely complex division of labor / learned Sometimes a tool is used –Open woodlands of Senegal: wooden spear used to kill bushbabies –Individual activity - most often adolescent females and males)

39 Chimpanzee hunting: Part 2 Senegal: savanna-dwelling common chimps Sharpen wooden stick with their teeth to form a crude spear Used to spear bushbabies out of small holes in trees Mainly done by adolescent females / males

40 Curing In some areas, chimps consume together soil rich in clay (kaolinite) and the leaves of a plant (Trichilia rubescens) to halt diarrhea In other areas, chimps eat the nasty tasting pith from a certain tree (Vernonia amygdalina) to cure diarrhea Chimps also swallow whole hairy, unpalatable leaves to rid their bodies of nodular worms associated with diarrhea and severe stomach pain Read the article Non-Human Primates Use Of Medicine Plants, available via the class website (see the Internet and Reading Assignments section)

41 Primate Behavior and The Building Blocks of Human Morality Scientist Finds The Beginnings Of Morality In Primate Behavior Scientist Finds The Beginnings Of Morality In Primate Behavior

42 Morality Concerned withConcerned with –distinction between good and evil (purview of philosophy and religion) –distinction between right and wrong (purview of socio-cultural studies using a comparative and culturally relativistic point of view) –rules of behavior within the group (purview of biological studies) A system that resolves conflicts and/or holds down intra-group violence within the group through a variety of methods (empathy, sympathy, altruism)A system that resolves conflicts and/or holds down intra-group violence within the group through a variety of methods (empathy, sympathy, altruism)

43 Reciprocity Mutual grooming & sharing show a sense of fairness or reciprocity –Remember the juvenile chimps Georgia from Prime-time Primates

44 Social Order Chimpanzees have a sense of social structure and rules of behavior (morality?), most of which involve the hierarchy of a group, in which some animals rank higher than others. Social living demands a number of qualities* &/or behaviors that may be precursors of morality. *What might those qualities/behaviors be?

45 Peacemaking Chimps engage in reconciliation and peacemaking. Male chimps routinely reconcile after fights, which protects their group’s social fabric. And if they don’t, females will bring the rivals together. Female chimpanzees have been seen removing stones from the hands of males about to fight.

46 Empathy The ability to understand the plight of others - clearly an essential part of any moral system. Chimps exhibit a variety of behaviors that suggest they have the capacity for empathy, such as helping a frightened young chimp down from a tree. Chimps, who cannot swim, have drowned in zoo moats trying to save others, even humans Given the chance to get food by pulling a chain that would also deliver an electric shock to a companion, rhesus macaques will starve themselves

47 Grooming: a mechanism at the base of primate social relationships Social glue, social lubricant –Primary means by which anthropoid primates initiate, maintain & strengthen social bonds Lowers stress hormones –Death of a friend or relative: compensate for loss by broadening and strengthening grooming networks

48 Strong Social Networks

49 Socialization In American Monkeys Link between size of neocortex and size and number of grooming clusters that monkeys belong to. Species w/larger neocortices can maintain larger social groups (25-50) because they can balance a few very intimate friendships against many less close acquaintances - species with smaller neocortices can’t do this and have groups that fragment more easily Neocortex: connected with cognitive functions: learning, memory, complex thought.

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