Abstract # 55:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 04:25 PM-04:40 PM: (Cascade H) Oral Presentation


C. M. Brand1, L. F. Marchant2, K. J. Boose1, F. J. White1, T. M. Rood1 and A. Meinelt3
1Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA, 2Department of Anthropology, Miami University, Oxford, OH, 3Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus, OH
     Laterality has been intensively studied in non-human primates over the past few decades. We investigated the laterality of grooming and tool use in a group of captive bonobos. Grooming is considered a model behavior to investigate laterality as it is frequent and occurs in both the wild and captivity. Left hand bias has been previously reported for termite fishing in wild chimpanzees. Subjects were 16 bonobos housed at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Laterality of grooming was recorded using group scans; tool use was recorded using all-occurrence sampling. Behaviors were characterized as unimanual or bimanual and scored as right handed or left handed. Laterality was determined using a two-tailed binomial test with a level of significance of 0.05. We found no significant differences in unimanual or bimanual grooming in this group of bonobos. For the nine subjects who engaged in termite fishing with enough bouts for statistical testing, eight individuals exhibited significant laterality and strong individual hand preference, 5 subjects preferred their left hand and 3 preferred their right. Grooming was not lateralized in this population, yet a more complex behavior revealed individual hand preference. Our preliminary results for this group is similar to that for a larger group of bonobos (Chapelaine et al. 2011) who showed strong individual preference on a bimanual task, the tube task, but no group bias.