Chimp ‘girl talk’ is more negative

March 4, 2013
By

ChimpanzeeFemale chimps used more gestures of aggression when communicating with other females

Female chimpanzees are more “negative” when communicating with other females, research has found.

The study analysed the different gesturing strategies used by a group of females at Chester Zoo.

In female-female interactions, the chimps used more aggressive signals and “apologised” less often with gestures of reassurance.

But they employed a more positive strategy around males, with more expressions of greeting and submission.

“When communicating with males, females sort of ‘suck up’ to them,” said PhD student Nicole Scott from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, US, whose findings are published in the American Journal of Primatology.

Continue reading the main story

Communication experts

Siamang hanging in a tree

How do siamang couples declare their love?

See a baby dolphin locate its mum from her calls

Take a lesson in apes’ expressions

To carry out the research, Ms Scott video-recorded the behaviour of 17 females and five males in a group of chimps at Chester Zoo, UK.

“I defined gesture as an expressive movement of the limbs or head and body postures produced intentionally,” she told BBC Nature.

Examination of overall behaviour in males and females showed no differences in the repertoire of gestures the animals used. But differences in communication appeared when individual interactions were analysed.

While females in the group adopted a different gesture strategy depending on the sex of a partner, the males did not.

Ms Scott suggests this indicates that female chimpanzees are more sensitive to the sex of their partner than males, and cater their gesture use accordingly.

According to the biologist, different “social pressures” on the sexes could explain the difference in communication strategies.

For example, males might have more positive relationships with other males because of the importance of male-male alliances and maintaining high social rank in a group.

But there may be less focus on female chimpanzees maintaining multiple, positive relationships with other females, and instead more pressure on them to form positive relationships with males.

Parallel lives

Ms Scott suggests the complex social behaviour seen in chimps, and highlighted in her study, may hint at our own actions:

“To speak anthropomorphically, I can certainly see some parallels in my own life: women are generally more aggressive and competitive with each other… [and] men do not change their behaviour outside the context of social rank,” she said, referring to studies of gesture differences in humans.

ChimpanzeesFemale and male chimps face different social pressures

“Perhaps we inherited these traits from our ancestors, traits which were adaptive for their social pressures, but I’ll leave that argument for the anthropologists.”

She added that her analysis of female aggression could be controversial because “there is a belief in the field that males are more aggressive than females.”

“Some researchers likely will have trouble accepting my results since I show that females are also aggressive,” she said.

“It’s not that they are more aggressive, just different from males in their use of aggression.”

Join BBC Nature on Facebook and Twitter @BBCNature.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/21621643 The feed :

Tags:

Sponsored By:

The Deeter Group

Deeter Electronics Ltd. | Deeter Electronics Inc | Deeter Group Asia | Deeter Group Germany | Deeter Group Corporate

Head & Registered Office:
Deeter Electronics Ltd.
Deeter House,
Valley Road,
Hughenden Valley,
Bucks. HP14 4LW

Tel: +44 (0) 1494 566 046
Fax: +44 (0) 1494 563 961
E-mail: [email protected]


The Deeter Group with products ranging from: , , , continuous , 4-20mA , , , , , , , a , wireless sensor and much more.

If you want a standard or a custom level switch, float switch, level sensor, or wireless sensor, contact us via email [email protected] or call us now on 01494 566 046.

Company Name: The Deeter Group

Location: Hughenden Valley, UK

Deeter Electronics USA
Deeter Electronics USA
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Reed relays | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Deeter Electronics UK
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Reed relays | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Deeter Electronics Europe
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Sensor Magazine Websites
Explosion Proof Sensors UK | Explosion Proof Sensors | Water Level Measurement | Liquid Level Sensing | Liquid Level Measurement | Liquid Level Sensors UK | Liquid Level Sensors Europe | Wireless Sensors | Sensor Magazine | Industrial Sensors



Water use