Chimpanzees, hogs help monkeys, guineafowl

This 2015 video says about itself:

Chimps Cracking, Eating and Acting Nuts

Eating raw essential fats increases intelligence.

From the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany:

Monkeys benefit from the nut-cracking abilities of chimpanzees and hogs

Mangabey monkeys get free access to fresh tropical nuts by profiting from the nut-cracking skills of chimpanzees and the strong jaws of hogs

July 19, 2018

Summary: Researchers describe for the first time the scavenging behavior of mangabey monkeys, guinea fowls, and squirrels on energy-rich nut remnants cracked by chimpanzees and red river hogs. The team used data collected by camera traps in the rain forest of Tai National Park in Ivory Coast. The results reveal new unknown interactions between different species and increase our understanding of the complex community of animals foraging around tropical nut trees.

To investigate the scavenging behaviour first author Bryndan van Pinxteren of the University of Amsterdam analysed all video material from the camera traps by scoring the visiting behaviour of mangabey monkeys, fowl species and squirrels to chimpanzee nut-cracking sites in relation to known nut-cracking events. Furthermore, since mangabeys are infrequently preyed upon by chimpanzees, he investigated whether they perceive an increased predation risk when approaching nut remnants. In total, 190 nut-cracking events were observed in four different areas of Tai National Park, Ivory Coast.

After detailed analyses the team confirmed that mangabeys scavenged on the nuts cracked by chimpanzees and hogs, and that this behaviour enabled them to access food sources that would otherwise not be accessible. For example, one of the fresh nut species (Panda oleosa) needs to be cracked by chimpanzees using heavy stones. They are too hard, and mangabeys cannot open them using their teeth. Mangabeys were also present more often at the nut-cracking sites after chimpanzees and red river hogs had cracked nuts, suggesting that they were attracted to the nut-cracking events. White-breasted guinea fowl, helme[te]d guinea fowl, and several squirrel species, which previously had been observed to scavenge on these nut remnants, were not present more often at the nut-cracking sites after nut-cracking events, suggesting that mangabeys, but not the other species, were potentially more motivated to approach nut-cracking chimpanzees and hogs and to profit from their nut-cracking skills.

“After studying both species for many months, I remain intrigued by the puzzling relationship between mangabey monkeys and chimpanzees. At some moments the monkeys seem to be scared of these potential though infrequent predators, while at other times they approach chimpanzees within meters to profit from their tool-using skills, as if they had learned to anticipate the other species ‘mood'”, says Karline Janmaat of the University of Amsterdam and the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology.

Mangabeys showed elevated levels of vigilance, measured by noting down how often the monkeys watched their distant surroundings at the chimpanzee nut-cracking sites compared with other foraging sites, suggesting that they perceived elevated danger at these sites. This could be explained by the tendency of chimpanzees to hunt monkeys. The elevated level of vigilance during scavenging is therefore consistent with the possibility that the mangabeys encounter a dilemma between an opportunity to gain a high amount of “free” energy and increased predation risk. “The decisions of mangabeys to approach food left-overs from potential predators, may imply contextual knowledge that helps the monkeys to judge when they are safe and when they need to be vigilant or move into a safe position”, adds Janmaat.

“This same type of decision-making behaviour might also have been present in our early human ancestors who could obtain free food — hard to acquire otherwise — from dangerous predators by scavenging on their left-over prey carrion. Therefore studying the monkeys’ behaviour might give us insights in the origin of our own decision-making skills.”

“What is sad is that the forests in which we observed the monkeys’ intriguing behaviour are disappearing at an alarming rate,” says Bryndan van Pinxteren. “We are not only losing these forests, but we also lose our evolutionary history, since all our closest living relatives live in the rain forest.”

A study has analyzed the mechanical properties and the isotopic composition of plant foods eaten by chimpanzees living in the tropical rain forest and savannah woodland. They found that the savannah chimpanzees eat foods that are more mechanically challenging and therefore may place higher selective pressures on their chewing apparatus compared to their conspecifics living in the rainforest: here.

Humans are often faced with the choice of investing in the greater good or being selfish and letting others do the work. Animals that live in groups often encounter threats, and informing others could potentially save lives. Researchers show that wild sooty mangabeys, when facing dangerous vipers, do not just call out of fear or to warn their family, but will call when the information about the threat might otherwise not reach all group members: here.

2 thoughts on “Chimpanzees, hogs help monkeys, guineafowl

  1. Pingback: Wild chimpanzees share food with friends | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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