Capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella fail to understand a cooperative task

Bibliographic Collection: 
MOCA Reference, APE
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Chalmeau, R; Visalberghi, E; Gallo, A
Year of Publication: 1997
Journal: Anim Behav
Volume: 54
Issue: 5
Pagination: 1215-25
Date Published: 1997 Nov
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 0003-3472

We investigated whether capuchin monkeys cooperate to solve a task and to what extent they take into account the behaviour of another individual when cooperating. Two groups of capuchin monkeys (N=5 and 6) were tested in a task whose solution required simultaneous pulling of two handles which were too far from one another to be pulled by one monkey. Before carrying out the cooperation study, individual monkeys were trained to pull one handle (training phase 1) and to pull two handles simultaneously (training phase 2) for a food reward. Nine subjects were successful in training phase 1, and five in training phase 2. In the cooperation study seven subjects were successful, that is, pulled one handle while a companion pulled the other. Further analyses revealed that capuchins did not increase their pulling actions when a partner was close to or at the other handle, that is, when cooperation might occur. These data suggest that capuchin monkeys acted together at the task and got the reward without understanding the role of the partner and without taking its behaviour into consideration. Social tolerance, as well as their tendency to explore and their manual dexterity, were the major factors accounting for the capuchins' success.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

Alternate Journal: Anim Behav
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