Supplementary material from "The social dynamics of complex gestural communication in great and lesser apes (Pan troglodytes, Pongo abelii, Symphalangus syndactylus)"

Posted on 23.06.2022 - 08:03
Gestures play an essential role in primate communication. However, little is known about how complexity of gestural use (in terms of repertoire size, intentional use, flexibility and use of gestural sequences) relates to individual and dyadic measures of sociality and whether more complex gestural use is more effective in eliciting a response. We observed 19 captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), 16 Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) and 18 siamangs (Symphalangus syndactylus) to assess the complexity and effectiveness of their gestural use. We found that, beyond interspecific variation, the number of gesture types used in a dyad was higher when individuals had stronger social bonds; the probability of accounting for other's attention increased with age, especially for visual gestures; and sequences were more likely used by younger or socially less integrated individuals. In terms of effectiveness, older individuals and those using fewer sequences were more likely to be responded to, while across dyads, the probability of obtaining a response was higher when both individuals accounted for others' attention and when they used fewer sequences. Overall, this confirms the link between sociality and complex gestural use and suggests that more complex forms of communication may be more effective at achieving communicative goals.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Cognition, communication and social bonds in primates’.

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Amici, Federica; Liebal, Katja (2022): Supplementary material from "The social dynamics of complex gestural communication in great and lesser apes (Pan troglodytes, Pongo abelii, Symphalangus syndactylus)". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6060619.v1
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