7th European Federation for Primatology Meeting. 30e Colloque de la Société Francophone de Primatologie Strasbourg, France, August 21-25, 2017: Abstracts

Hélène Meunier
2017 Folia primatologica  
A rich literature has increasingly documented the pervasiveness of cultural transmission in non-human primates, and these discoveries have multiple important implications. One that has received much attention is relatively narrowly anthropocentric, applying this new found knowledge of primate culture to understand the origins of the extraordinary scope of culture in our own species. Another, the focus of the present talk, instead looks outwards to more broadly evaluate the significance of what
more » ... e have learned about animal culture for evolutionary biology at large. Primatology has often pioneered the study of animal cultures that this enterprise depends on, but it is equally important to recognise the breadth of cultural phenomena across the animal kingdom when addressing the wider questions about their role in evolution. In this talk, primatology remains as the core and foundation, but I additionally survey the picture of cultural phenomena revealed in recent decades of studies ranging over such groups as cetaceans, birds, fish and even insects. I consider three main implications of animal culture for evolutionary biology. First, culture replicates several core components of Darwinian evolutionary processes, potentially generating a new form of evolution in its own right. Second, this new form of evolution also has its own novel and distinctive characteristics, that reconfigure the way in which evolutionary processes work. Thirdly and finally, the two evolutionary systems, one based on genetic transmission and the other dependent on the "second inheritance system" of social learning, interact in forms of gene-culture evolution, with profound consequences for evolutionary biology. In primates, several selective pressures are thought to have led to the evolution of grasping and manipulative abilities including predation, locomotor mode, social context, food properties and tool use. In such a context, it is fascinating to try to analyze how parameters such as the variability of behaviours, morphologies, environments and diets interact, to understand the mechanisms underlying the evolution of these functions and finally try to infer hand use in fossil forms. An interdisciplinary approach allows us to address several issues: (1) which parameters are involved in the origins and evolution of grasping and manipulation among primates? (2) How do behavioural and morphological parameters interact? (3) How to infer hand use in fossil forms? We demonstrated that food properties affect manipulative strategies, especially mobile and/or embedded foods. It seems that strepshirrines have simpler grasping strategies compared to catarrhines and that, among platyrrhines, capuchins have high finger individualization abilities. Among strepshirrines, fur-carrying species (species who transport their babies in their fur and not in their mouth) exhibit significantly more frequent manual grasping of food items, and the mouse lemur can pull more than ten times its own body weight, probably in relation to its arboreal adaptation. Biomechanical studies showed that arboreal species tend to use more rotation of the upper limb joints than more terrestrial ones, who use more flexion-extension movements. Finally, humans show more complex in-hand movements than great apes, partly related to the shape of the trapeziometacarpal complex. Furthermore, behavioural and paleoanthropological data suggest that other species outside Homo are or were able to make tools. To conclude, I am convinced we need to develop integrative approaches and to study groups other than primates if we want to understand better the selection pressures involved in the evolution of manual grasping and manipulation. Integrated species conservation, also called One Plan Approach, is a new concept developing links between in situ and ex situ conservation. The zoo community focuses on long-term management of captive populations of threatened primates, without sometimes knowing the precise conservation needs of the species in the wild. On the other hand, field biologists and wildlife managers are more concerned with evaluating threats and protecting primates and their habitats, sometimes ignoring usable knowledge acquired in captivity. As 47% of primate species are considered as threatened in the Red List of IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and threats to their habitats have never been so high worldwide, common efforts are needed to ensure their protection. Through the scope of ex situ programmes of primate conservation, we are looking at how the One Plan Approach could be implemented. Within the European association of Zoos, 80 primate breeding programmes managed at an EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) level are divided into 6 Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs). Each TAG produces a Regional Collection Plan in order to prioritize the needs and intensity of management of the captive population with regard to their status in the wild. Three main issues are discussed: (1) How might the long-term viability of EEP primate populations influence the global future of the species in the wild? (2) Are the education, fundraising and research potentials of these EEP populations used efficiently by wildlife managers in protected areas? (3) Is a global management of wild and captive populations of the same species realistic? In situ analysis of conservation programmes and a viability assessment of the EEP population of Eulemur flavifrons, Nomascus leucogenys, Cercopithecus roloway and Sapajus xanthosternos allow us to determine different levels of integrated conservation implementation and to elaborate action plans at TAG level. 82 7th European Federation for Primatology Meeting tasks. These three tasks were presented to a group of Tonkean macaques ( Macaca tonkeana ) using testing devices equipped with touchscreens and an automated identification system, to which they had free access from their enclosure at the Primate Centre of Strasbourg University. This group was composed of 30 Tonkean macaques aged from 2 to 21, living in semi-free-ranging conditions. This innovative approach is of key scientific interest: investigating memory, attentional and inhibitory functions in the same primate group composed of individuals of varied ages, directly in their living area. This enables the comparison of cognitive processes through ageing as well as their interactions with social aspects such as dominance hierarchy and social networks. Results show the more aged subjects show slower learning processes, attentional deficits and lower performances in short-term memory. These results enrich our knowledge about cognitive evolution through normal ageing, and better characterize macaque as an animal model for age ing processes. Personality has been intensively studied in the past decades in various animal species, particularly in non-human primates. Two distinct approaches have been used to study animal personality: (i) psychological, that relies on scores obtained from questionnaires and (ii) biological, that relies on scores obtained from behavioural observations and/or behavioural tests. The convergent and discriminant validity of these approaches has been debated, but systematic research of the cross-method validity is scarce. In this study, we conducted behavioural observations and tests, and had trusted raters answer personality questionnaires about common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) ( n = 37). We collected data independently in two different research laboratories (Vienna and Zurich) across two years (2011 and 2012), and analysed these data independently. We compared the component structures obtained by the two methods, and examined the correlations between the rateing and behavioural constructs. Notably, all expected correlations and non-correlations were formulated a priori (we used Spearman rank-order correlations or Pearson product-moment correlations, depending on data distribution). The two methods yielded different trait structures, as was expected owing to the differing sets of variables in the questionnaire and behavioural data. Regarding convergent validity, some expected correlations were found, but none was found in both data sets, and several expected correlations were not found (e.g. explorative behaviour was not correlated with the construct Inquisitiveness). In contrast, discriminant validity was, with some exceptions, found for all constructs in both data sets. Our findings suggest that a re-evaluation of the questionnaires used in personality research is due. We will discuss how to improve the applicability of the questionnaires, and urge caution in choosing the most suitable methods to study personality in non-human primates. 7th European Federation for Primatology Meeting 83 The complex social networks and competitive interactions of primates create abundant opportunities for engaging in deceptive behaviours, fooling their adversaries by sharing dishonest information. To examine such behaviours, we tested 11 Tonkean macaques in 21 dyads of dominant-subordinate, in an experimental food competition context. The subordinate could see two pieces of food whereas the dominant could see only one. The two individuals were released into the testing area at the same time or with the subordinate given a head start on the dominant, who would be released once the subordinate's full body was in the testing area. Using detailed video analysis of the behaviours of both individuals, our goals were to: (i) describe and classify functionally deceptive strategies displayed by subordinates, (ii) determine factors influencing the use of these strategies, and (iii) investigate whether subordinates adjusted their behaviour in response to the behaviour of the dominant. Our study revealed that subordinates could use different types of tactical deception, including concealment and distraction, and even combining more than one strategy. They showed deceptive behaviours especially when paired with competitors of much higher social rank but also against specific individuals, regardless of the hierarchical gap, suggesting that some individual characteristics may also be considered. Finally, the data analysis revealed significant interactions between subordinate and dominant's behaviours, suggesting that subordinates took dominants' behaviours into account when displaying deceptive behaviours. It remains unclear whether this reflects active manipulation or passive inhibition from subordinates. While this latter result does not allow us to conclude that the use of tactical deception by Tonkean macaques is an intentional strategy, our study shows that Tonkean macaques have highly complex and flexible social skills enabling them to cope with challenges posed by conspecifics.
doi:10.1159/000479094 pmid:28768253 fatcat:w7xsevxdizc5jjrxaj2jafzox4