Abstract # 7920 Poster # 8:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom Salon A) Poster Presentation


M. C. Painter and P. G. Judge
Bucknell University, Animal Behavior Program, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
     Displacement behavior is characterized by irrelevance to the situation in which it takes place and, as it often occurs in stressful contexts, is used as a behavioral indicator of anxiety. While body care activity is the most commonly reported displacement behavior in primates, object manipulation is also observed following tense situations. This study explored the social contexts in which a manipulation displacement behavior occurred in a captive group of hamadryas baboons. Previous research established digging through gravel substrate as a displacement behavior occurring after aggression in this group. Some individuals perform similar digging motions when housed indoors on a non-manipulatable surface. Continuous behavior sampling of aggression/submission (threats, bites, screams and barks) and indoor digging (“swiping”) was conducted. Over 22.17 hours, 560 aggressive/submissive interactions and 111 swiping bouts were observed. Of the 14 baboons, eight were observed swiping. Across these individuals, swiping occurred significantly more often within two minutes of aggressive/submissive interactions than during two-minute intervals not preceded by agonistic behavior (paired samples permutation test, two-tailed, p<.01). Results suggest that the indoor swiping is a ritualized version of the outdoor digging displacement behavior and is an indicator of post-conflict anxiety in this group. Because this displacement behavior cannot be confused with a functional response, it can serve as a valuable tool to pinpoint anxiogenic social events.