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To drum or not to drum: Selectivity in tree buttress drumming by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Nimba Mountains, Guinea

Fitzgerald, Maegan and Willems, Erik P. and Gaspard Soumah, Aly and Matsuzawa, Tetsuro and Koops, Kathelijne (2022) To drum or not to drum: Selectivity in tree buttress drumming by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Nimba Mountains, Guinea. American Journal of Primatology, 84 (7). Art. No. e23382. ISSN 0275-2565. doi:10.1002/ajp.23382. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20220502-773337100

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Abstract

Chimpanzees live in fission-fusion social organizations, which means that party size, composition, and spatial distribution are constantly in flux. Moreover, chimpanzees use a remarkably extensive repertoire of vocal and nonvocal forms of communication, thought to help convey information in such a socially and spatially dynamic setting. One proposed form of nonvocal communication in chimpanzees is buttress drumming, in which an individual hits a tree buttress with its hands and/or feet, thereby producing a low-frequency acoustic signal. It is often presumed that this behavior functions to communicate over long distances and is, therefore, goal-oriented. If so, we would expect chimpanzees to exhibit selectivity in the choice of trees and buttresses used in buttress drumming. Selectivity is a key attribute of many other goal-directed chimpanzee behaviors, such as nut-cracking and ant dipping. Here, we investigate whether chimpanzees at the Seringbara study site in the Nimba Mountains, Guinea, West Africa, show selectivity in their buttress drumming behavior. Our results indicate that Seringbara chimpanzees are more likely to use larger trees and select buttresses that are thinner and have a greater surface area. These findings imply that tree buttress drumming is not a random act, but rather goal-oriented and requires knowledge of suitable trees and buttresses. Our results also point to long-distance communication as a probable function of buttress drumming based on selectivity for buttress characteristics likely to impact sound propagation. This study provides a foundation for further assessing the cognitive underpinnings and functions of buttress drumming in wild chimpanzees.


Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23382DOIArticle
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/action/downloadSupplement?doi=10.1002%2Fajp.23382&file=ajp23382-sup-0001-Fitzgerald_et_al_2022_SuppInfo.docxPublisherSupporting Information
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/action/downloadSupplement?doi=10.1002%2Fajp.23382&file=ajp23382-sup-0002-Fitzgerald_et_al_2022_data.csvPublisherSupporting Information
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Fitzgerald, Maegan0000-0003-3769-1688
Matsuzawa, Tetsuro0000-0002-8147-2725
Additional Information:© 2022 The Authors. American Journal of Primatology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. Issue Online: 22 July 2022; Version of Record online: 05 April 2022; Manuscript accepted: 19 March 2022; Manuscript revised: 02 March 2022; Manuscript received: 02 January 2021. This study was supported by grants from Gates Cambridge Trust, Lucie Burgers Foundation for Comparative Behaviour Research (the Netherlands), Homerton College and Newnham College (Cambridge) to Kathelijne Koops, and by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Leading Graduate Program-U04-PWS, JSPS core-to-core CCSN, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT)/JSPS-KAKENHI (#07102010, #12002009, #16002001, #20002001, #24000001, #16H06283) grants to Tetsuro Matsuzawa. The authors would like to thank the Direction Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique and Institut de Recherche Environnementale de Bossou (in Guinea for research collaboration and authorization. They are also grateful for the hard work and knowledge sharing of the research team: Kassié Doré, Fromo Doré, Fokayé Zogbila, Henry Didier Camara, Nawa Doré, Nema Gbouomy, CéSamy, Doro Zogbila, Gonoti Zogbila, Gouanou Zogbila, Yon Zogbila, Itsaso Vélez del Burgo Guinea, Stephanie Canington, Justin Caraway, Wren Edwards, Devin Hassler, Nicholas James, Gnan Mamy, Marie McCann, Davide Montanari, and Pauline Le Sommer. Open access funding provided by Universitat Zurich. Author Contributions: Maegan Fitzgerald: Conceptualization (equal); formal analysis (lead); investigation (lead); methodology (equal); writing – original draft (lead); and writing – review and editing (lead). Erik P. Willems: Formal analysis (supporting); visualization (supporting); and writing – review and editing (supporting). Aly Gaspard Soumah: Supervision (supporting) and writing – review and editing (supporting). Tetsuro Matsuzawa: Funding acquisition (supporting) and writing – review and editing (supporting). Kathelijne Koops: Conceptualization (equal); formal analysis (supporting); funding acquisition (lead); investigation (supporting); methodology (equal); writing – original draft (supporting); and writing – review and editing (supporting). Data Availability Statement: The data that support the findings of this study are available in the Supporting Information for this article.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gates Cambridge TrustUNSPECIFIED
Lucie Burgers Foundation for Comparative Behaviour ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Homerton CollegeUNSPECIFIED
Newnham CollegeUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)UNSPECIFIED
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)07102010
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)12002009
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)16002001
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)20002001
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)24000001
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)16H06283
University of ZurichUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:behavioral selectivity; buttress drumming; long-distance communication; western chimpanzees
Issue or Number:7
DOI:10.1002/ajp.23382
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220502-773337100
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20220502-773337100
Official Citation:Fitzgerald, M., Willems, E. P., Gaspard Soumah, A., Matsuzawa, T., & Koops, K. (2022). To drum or not to drum: Selectivity in tree buttress drumming by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Nimba Mountains, Guinea. American Journal of Primatology, 84, e23382. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23382
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114549
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 May 2022 17:22
Last Modified:16 Aug 2022 16:40

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