A Preliminary Study on the Function of Food Begging in Sichuan Snub-Nosed Monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana): Challenge to Begging for Nutritional Gain

Zhen Zhang, Yanjie Su, Raymond C.K. Chan
2010 Folia primatologica  
Several hypotheses have been developed to explain what benefits a donor may gain from sharing food with another individual, with nutritional gain assumed to be the sole benefit for the beggar. Recently, it has been proposed that begging behaviour serves a social function in non-human primates. In this study, the nutritional-gain assumption was again challenged based on observations on a captive group of Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) , or golden snub-nosed monkeys. The
more » ... r findings from this study are that (1) beggars sometimes left their own branches or passed by available branches to beg for similar food from other individuals, (2) beggars occasionally ignored branches that were acquired by begging and (3) food begging occurred more frequently in the all-male unit after the social rank had changed between 2 individuals in this unit. Overall, these preliminary findings suggest that some begging behaviours in captive golden snub-nosed monkeys were not driven by nutritional gain only; instead, we propose that these begging behaviours could be interpreted as attempts at deriving social benefits.
doi:10.1159/000322356 pmid:21212680 fatcat:tiwijxwdcnfifjt75eyyqbt6o4