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Infant socialisation in olive baboons (Papio anubis)

Baboons live in social groups and environments that are similar to early hominids, thus they provide a good model for the study of the evolution of human behaviour. Adult baboons (Papio anubis) exhibit complex social behaviour and communication skills, but the process by which they acquire these behaviours has not previously been investigated. Understanding infant socialisation – the process of development from complete maternal dependence to an independent member of a social group – provides insight into the evolution of human behaviour and language. Audio recordings and behavioural data were collected from olive baboons in Gashaka Gumti national Park, Nigeria. This is a marginal environment, with temperatures and rainfall more extreme than other baboon study sites. Physical interactions with the mother (e.g. weaning, being carried), physical interactions with other group members (being taken from mother; ‘infant handling’), and vocal communication are documented from birth to weaning. Infant socialisation in Nigerian baboons is characterised by frequent aggressive and affilitative handling by adults in the first 6 months of life, and a limited vocal repertoire of which three calls are produced from birth, and one is produced after 7 months of age. Only one call shows evidence of context specificity, and communication most likely takes place in the form of an online readout of an infant’s emotional state.
Date January 2014
CreatorsHarvey, S. M.
PublisherUniversity College London (University of London)
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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