Do wild titi monkeys show empathy?

Clyvia, A, Kaizer, M, Vale, R, Young, RJ ORCID: and Casar, C 2014, 'Do wild titi monkeys show empathy?' , Primate Biology, 1 , pp. 23-28.

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We observed a putative case of empathy among wild black-fronted titi monkeys (Callicebus nigrifrons) from two different groups (D and R). In over 10 years of behavioural observations of five habituated groups of this species, only low levels of inter-group tolerance have been observed. However, on one day, we encountered the adult male from group D limping (poor hind limb motor coordination) as he travelled alone along the ground. Interestingly, we observed that members of group R did not express any agonistic behaviour towards this neighbouring male and apparently allowed this disabled individual to follow them in the forest for over 5 h. They stayed low in the forest (<2m above the ground) and <10m horizontally from the individual, and remained in visual contact with him. At the end of the day, this male from group D slept in the sleeping site of group R and was groomed by the adult female of group R. Such tolerance between members of different groups has never been previously observed in this species. Furthermore, group R exposed themselves to increased predation risk by staying close to the ground for protracted periods. The behaviour of group R could be interpreted by as a putative case of empathic responding in this species.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Primate Biology
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 2363-4707
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Professor Robert Young
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2015 15:26
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 18:57

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