Supplementary material from "Thermal imaging reveals social monitoring during social feeding in wild chimpanzees"

Posted on 23.06.2022 - 08:09
Understanding the affective lives of animals has been a long-standing challenge in science. Recent technological progress in infrared thermal imaging has enabled researchers to monitor animals' physiological states in real-time when exposed to ecologically relevant situations, such as feeding in the company of others. During social feeding, an individual's physiological states are likely to vary with the nature of the resource and perceptions of competition. Previous findings in chimpanzees have indicated that events perceived as competitive cause decreases in nasal temperatures, whereas the opposite was observed for cooperative interactions. Here, we tested how food resources and audience structure impacted how social feeding events were perceived by wild chimpanzees. Overall, we found that nasal temperatures were lower when meat was consumed as compared to figs, consistent with the idea that social feeding on more contested resources is perceived as more dangerous and stressful. Nasal temperatures were significant affected by interactions between food type and audience composition, in particular the number of males, their dominance status, and their social bond status relative to the subject, while no effects for the presence of females were observed. Our findings suggest that male chimpanzees closely monitor and assess their social environment during competitive situations, and that infrared imaging provides an important complement to access psychological processes beyond observable social behaviours.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Cognition, communication and social bonds in primates’.


Barrault, Claire; Soldati, Adrian; HOBAITER, Catherine; Mugisha, Stephen; Moor, Delphine De; Zuberbühler, Klaus; et al. (2022): Supplementary material from "Thermal imaging reveals social monitoring during social feeding in wild chimpanzees". The Royal Society. Collection.
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Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences


Claire Barrault
Adrian Soldati
Catherine HOBAITER
Stephen Mugisha
Delphine De Moor
Klaus Zuberbühler
Guillaume Dezecache
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