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Gesture use in consortship

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Abstract

We describe the gestural communication of wild chimpanzees in the evolutionarily urgent context of consortship. Consortship represented the dominant context for the use of gestural communication by adult males in the Sonso community. Gesturing provided consorting males with the opportunity to communicate their intentions to the female, while avoiding the risk of also advertising these to other community males. The extensive use of gesturing by adult males differs from the low frequency reported in captivity, and emphasises the importance of studying behaviour in a natural population.

References

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