Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ABOUT US
Mothers dictate lifelong grooming habits in chimps
by Brooks Hays
Cambridge, Mass. (UPI) Mar 1, 2017


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

According to new research, a chimp's grooming behaviors are instilled by his or her mother, and the ingrained behaviors last a lifetime.

"I think what it really shows is how strong the maternal influence is," Richard Wrangham, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, told the Harvard Gazette. "It's very charming, really -- our oldest-known son was almost 40 years old, still doing what his long-dead mother did."

Wrangham and his colleagues focused on a distinct form of grooming called "high-arm grooming." The behavior occurs during a regular grooming session. As two chimps groom each other, both raise their arms and either clasp hands or cross arms.

Each high-arm grooming session lasts an average of 45 seconds. Some chimps perform the behavior as much as ten times per day.

Grooming is universal among chimpanzees, but high-arm grooming is not. The behavior is totally absent from three well-studied populations, while rates of clasping and non-clasping vary among different populations.

To find out what drives the unique grooming behavior and its variations, researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of the habit among several chimp populations. Scientists have previously hypothesized the behavior is a group signaling mechanism. Others have suggested the behavior is a sign of intimacy and friendship.

The latest research, detailed in the journal Current Biology, suggests previous theories are wrong.

"What we're showing with this paper is that none of the obvious possibilities figure out," Wrangham said. "The pattern varies widely within the group, it's not closely associated with friendship, it doesn't vary by age or sex, and it does not depend on how long an individual has been in the community."

What the latest observations showed is that chimps copy the grooming behaviors they were taught by their mother. As chimps spend the first 12 years of their life grooming exclusively with their mother, the pattern makes sense.

"Even when they're adults, even after their mothers are long dead, they still do it the same way their mother did it," Wrangham said. "This is the first time anyone has realized this, and the pattern is delightfully clear."

While the findings are informative, they don't exactly explain why chimps perform high-arm grooming in the first place. An answer might lie in instances of grooming conflict. When a non-clasper and a clasper groom one another, what determines which version of high-arm grooming wins out? Is it age or social dominance?

So far, evidence suggests some other factor is at play, Wrangham said.

"Eventually, I hope we can work out the social significance of this quirky behavior," he said. "If we can find a pattern for which individual 'wins' when a clasper grooms with a non-clasper, maybe we will get a clue to why individuals do high-arm grooming at all."

ABOUT US
Tiny fibers open new windows into the brain
Boston MA (SPX) Feb 24, 2017
For the first time ever, a single flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical, and chemical signals back and forth into the brain, putting into practice an idea first proposed two years ago. With some tweaking to further improve its biocompatibility, the new approach could provide a dramatically improved way to learn about the functi ... read more

Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ABOUT US
115 migrants rescued, 25 missing: Libya navy

Thousands flee anti-IS offensives in Iraq and Syria

Haitians' ire over carnival spending amid hurricane's ruins

Carnival helps Rio put crime, recession on back burner

ABOUT US
New use for paper industry's sludge and fly ash in plastics

New polymer additive could revolutionize plastics recycling

Researchers use laser-generated bubbles to create 3-D images in liquid

New X-ray glasses concentrate, strengthen laser beams

ABOUT US
Calculating recharge of groundwater more precisely

More bang for the buck

Syrian farmers fear IS to flood villages near Euphrates

First direct measurements of Pacific seabed sediments reveal strong methane source

ABOUT US
UN reports Antarctica's highest temperatures on record

NASA study improves forecasts of summer Arctic sea ice

Air pollution may have masked mid-20th Century sea ice loss

International team reports ocean acidification spreading rapidly in Arctic Ocean

ABOUT US
Hand-picked specialty crops 'ripe' for precision agriculture techniques

Hand-picked specialty crops 'ripe' for precision agriculture techniques

Researchers propose using CRISPR to accelerate plant domestication

Magic cover crop carpet

ABOUT US
After year of calm, Mt Etna bursts into life

New USGS Maps Identify Potential Ground-Shaking Hazards in 2017

Powerful aftershock hits quake-stricken Philippine city

Zimbabwe seeks aid after floods kill over 240 in 3 months

ABOUT US
22 dead in DR Congo army clashes with M23 rebels

Tanzania bans booze sachets

France sends backup to Niger after 16 troops killed

UN airstrikes in C.Africa target 'heavily armed' militia

ABOUT US
Mothers dictate lifelong grooming habits in chimps

100,000-year-old human skulls from east Asia reveal complex mix of trends in time, space

Catalog of 208 human-caused minerals bolsters argument to declare 'Anthropocene Epoch'

Tiny fibers open new windows into the brain




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement