Abstract # 5960 Poster # 160:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


CONSPECIFIC PROXIMITY OF PAN TROGLODYTES, PAN PANISCUS, AND GORILLA GORILLA AND THE ROLE OF THE PRESENCE OF FOOD ON SOCIO-ECOLOGY

S. C. Milne1 and J. Taglialatela1,2
1Kennesaw State University , Kennesaw, GA, USA, 2Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA, USA
line
     Among the African Great Apes, chimpanzees and gorillas experience significant habitat overlap, whereas bonobos do not overlap with either of the other two species. It is thought that differences in the feeding ecologies of chimpanzees and gorillas play an important role in determining social differences between the two species. Similarly, some social parallels between gorillas and bonobos, such as group cohesion, are thought to be a result of increased reliance on THV (terrestrial herbaceous vegetation). We hypothesized that gorillas and bonobos should show a higher tolerance of conspecifics in close proximity during feeding compared to other contexts than should chimpanzees as a result of their socio-ecological strategies. Previously recorded data, collected in compliance with IACUC standards, on 15 captive chimpanzees housed at the Yerkes Primate Center and 10 captive bonobos housed at the Jacksonville Zoo were analyzed. Contexts were classified into categories, feeding and other, and proximity was categorized as alone or not alone. We found that chimpanzees were more likely to be alone while feeding than any other context (X²=4.7; p=0.029), but found no significant difference in bonobo proximity across contexts (p>0.05). These data suggest that the tolerance for conspecific proximity may be greater across contexts for bonobos, but that chimpanzees may not be as flexible. These data represent preliminary results to be used with similar data on gorillas for a comprehensive cross-species analysis.