Monday, February 1, 2016

Guinea Baboon Social Behavior

As we work on finishing up Dry Lake, one thing that stood out at this site was the huge number of Guinea baboon videos.  With so many videos, we got to see some really interesting behaviors and interactions!

Guinea baboon social behavior is quite complex and includes a lot of visual, auditory, and tactile communication.  As mentioned previously on the blog, Guinea baboons will often formally "greet" each other by embracing, mounting, lipsmacking, presenting their rears, and/or manipulating each other's genitals (sometimes called "diddling").  These behaviors aren't sexual in nature, rather they seem to confirm the social bonds between the individuals.  After greeting, they may sit next to each other, sometimes leading into a grooming bout.  They may also emit some friendly grunting vocalizations.

Before we get to the videos, two notes of thanks: thank you to Adeelia Goffe (asgoffe) for helping us at Dry Lake and sharing her vast Guinea baboon knowledge, and thank you to all our Chimp & See participants for tagging various behaviors -- the tag collections were a big help in picking out these sample clips!

In the video below, there are three greeting clips.  In the first clip, two baboons embrace, and then start grooming.  They're also grunting during the interaction.  In the second clip, we see both diddling and mounting.  The third clip shows a very complex greeting that starts with the male presenting his rear, then the female presents hers and the male mounts her while she lipsmacks at him.  Finally, they end with an embrace that is partially obscured by the tree.

Guinea baboons also frequently have agonistic (unfriendly) interactions.  They may threaten each other using facial expressions like flashing their pale eyelids.  This may escalate to lunges or chases, or even contact aggression like biting and kicking.  The response to this aggression is often screaming and running.

In this video, there are three agonistic clips.  In the first clip, two females in the middle of the screen threaten a target off camera by flashing their pale eyelids.  The screams are coming from a baboon off camera.  In the second clip, a male repeatedly lunges at another baboon, who responds by screaming.  In the third clip, two baboons bite and grab at each other, then one chases the other off.

Other interactions are specific to infants and juveniles.  Males and females of all ages find infants very appealing and may take infants from their moms.  These interactions can be distressing to both the mom and the infant, though they can also be friendly in nature.  During the weaning period, infants may also be distressed when their moms reject their attempts to nurse or be carried.  They may express this distress by producing a special "weaning call".  Finally, play is a behavior mostly seen between youngsters and can involve many of the same behaviors that adults do (chasing, biting, etc.), but done in a friendly context.

This video shows four clips with infants/juveniles.  In the first clip, an infant is being handled by an adult male before running back to mom.  She then tries to prevent anyone else from handling the infant.  The second clip shows a more friendly infant interaction of an adult male with two infants, while the moms are calm nearby.  In the third clip, a mom rejects her infant while the infant produces a weaning call.  In the last clip, two youngsters play by grabbing at each other and hanging from vines.

Join us soon to help finish up baboon videos (and others) at Dry Lake!  We look forward to seeing you at Chimp & See!

No comments:

Post a Comment