Behavioral responses to injury and death in wild Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus)

Campbell, Liz A. D. and Tkaczynski, Patrick J. and Mouna, Mohamed and Qarro, Mohamed and Waterman, James and Majolo, Bonaventura (2016) Behavioral responses to injury and death in wild Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Primates, 57 (3). pp. 309-315. ISSN 0032-8332

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The wounding or death of a conspecific has been shown to elicit varied behavioral responses throughout thanatology. Recently, a number of reports have presented contentious evidence of epimeletic behavior towards the dying and dead among non-human animals, a behavioral trait previously considered uniquely human. Here, we report on the behavioral responses of Barbary macaques, a social, non-human primate, to the deaths of four group members (one high-ranking adult female, one high-ranking adult male, one juvenile male, and one female infant), all caused by road traffic accidents. Responses appeared to vary based on the nature of the death (protracted or instant) and the age class of the deceased. Responses included several behaviors with potential adaptive explanations or consequences. These included exploration, caretaking (guarding, carrying, and grooming), and proximity to wounded individuals or corpses, and immediate as well as longer-lasting distress behaviors from other group members following death, all of which have been reported in other non-human primate species. These observations add to a growing body of comparative evolutionary analysis of primate thanatology and help to highlight the multifaceted impacts of human-induced fatalities on an endangered and socially complex primate. © 2016, Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan.

Keywords:Animalia, Macaca sylvanus, Primates, Thanatology, Barbary macaque, Epimeletic behavior, JCNotOpen
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:23742
Deposited On:17 Aug 2016 15:06

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