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Possession and Transfer of Objects in a Group of Brown Capuchins (Cebus Apella)

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image of Behaviour

Possession of objects was studied in a captive group of kin-related brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Following introduction of an object by the experimenter, social interactions around the object were recorded during 15 min, focussing on takeovers, taking at distance and forced relinquishments. Results showed that individuals behaved according to tactical factors such as value and portability of objects. However, possession by subordinates could remain unchallenged by higher-ranking individuals and the latter tolerated some takeovers by subordinates. To account for such patterns, it is assumed that the dominants' behaviour is sometimes limited by the risk of altering the current state of their social relationships.

Affiliations: 1: (Laboratoire de Psychophysiologie, CNRS (URA 1295) et Université Louis Pasteur, 7 rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France)


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