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Factors influencing deceptive behaviours in Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana)

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The complex social environments of primates create opportunities for engaging in tactical deception, especially for subordinate individuals. We analysed the behaviour of subordinate Tonkean macaques with dominant conspecifics in an experimental food competition context. The subordinate macaque could see two pieces of food in a test area, but only one piece was visible to the dominant. Both individuals were released into the test area at the same time or with the subordinate given a short head start on the dominant. Here, based on video analysis of the subordinates’ behaviours, we describe and classify functionally deceptive behaviours displayed by subordinates, and report factors that influenced these behaviours. Subordinates used several types of tactical deception, including concealment and distraction, especially when paired with competitors of much higher social rank, and they obtained the hidden food more frequently when they used a combination of tactics rather than only one.

Affiliations: 1: eUniversity of Zürich, Anthropological Institute and Museum, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland ; 2: dUniversity of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study, 5 allée du Général Rouvillois, 67083 Strasbourg, France ; 3: bUniversité de Strasbourg — Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives et Adaptatives, 12 rue Goethe, 67000 Strasbourg, France ; 4: aCentre de Primatologie de l’Université de Strasbourg, Fort Foch, 67207 Niederhausbergen, France ; 5: cCNRS — Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives et Adaptatives, UMR 7364, 12 rue Goethe, 67000 Strasbourg, France ; 6: fDepartment of Psychology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Letters, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan ; 7: gCentre Statistique de Strasbourg, IRMA, UMR 7501, 7 rue René Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg Cedex, France

*Corresponding author’s e-mail address:
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