65 Works

Listening and watching: do camera traps or acoustic sensors more efficiently detect wild chimpanzees in an open habitat?

Anne-Sophie Crunchant, David Borchers, Hjalmar Kuehl & Alex K. Piel
1. With one million animal species at risk of extinction, there is an urgent need to regularly monitor threatened species. However, in practice this is challenging, especially with wide-ranging, elusive and cryptic species or those that occur at low density. 2. Here we compare two non-invasive methods, passive acoustic monitoring (n=12) and camera trapping (n=53), to detect chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in a savanna-woodland mosaic habitat at the Issa Valley, Tanzania. With occupancy modelling we evaluate...

Data from: Climate impacts on trans-ocean dispersal and habitat in gray whales from the Pleistocene to 2100

S. Elizabeth Alter, Matthias Meyer, Klaas Post, Paul Czechowski, Peter Gravlund, Cork Gaines, Howard C. Rosenbaum, Kristin Kaschner, Samuel T. Turvey, Johannes Van Der Plicht, Beth Shapiro & Michael Hofreiter
Arctic animals face dramatic habitat alteration due to ongoing climate change. Understanding how such species have responded to past glacial cycles can help us forecast their response to today's changing climate. Gray whales are among those marine species likely to be strongly affected by Arctic climate change, but a thorough analysis of past climate impacts on this species has been complicated by lack of information about an extinct population in the Atlantic. While little is...

Data from: Patterns of interventions and the effect of coalitions and sociality on male fitness

Lars Kulik, Laura Muniz, Roger Mundry & Anja Widdig
In group living animals, especially among primates, there is consistent evidence that high-ranking males gain a higher reproductive output than low-ranking males. Primate studies have shown that male coalitions and sociality can impact male fitness; however, it remains unclear whether males could potentially increase their fitness by preferentially supporting and socializing with females. Here we investigate patterns of male interventions and the effect of coalitions and sociality on male fitness in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)...

Data from: Carrion fly-derived DNA as a tool for comprehensive and cost-effective assessment of mammalian biodiversity

Sebastien Calvignac-Spencer, Kevin Merkel, Nadine Kutzner, Hjalmar Kühl, Christophe Boesch, Peter M. Kappeler, Sonja Metzger, Grit Schubert & Fabian H. Leendertz
Large-scale monitoring schemes are essential in assessing global mammalian biodiversity, and in this framework leeches have recently been promoted as an indirect source of DNA from terrestrial mammal species. Carrion feeding flies are ubiquitous and can be expected to feed on many vertebrate carcasses. Hence, we tested whether fly-derived DNA analysis may also serve as a novel tool for mammalian diversity surveys. We screened DNA extracted from 201 carrion flies collected in tropical habitats of...

Data from: How chimpanzees solve collective action problems

Anna-Claire Schneider, Alicia P. Melis & Michael Tomasello
We presented small groups of chimpanzees with two collective action situations, in which action was necessary for reward but there was a disincentive for individuals to act due to the possibility of free-riding on the efforts of others. We found that in simpler scenarios (Experiment 1) in which group size was small, there was a positive relationship between rank and action with more dominant individuals volunteering to act more often, particularly when the reward was...

Data from: Mothers may shape the variations in social organization among gorillas

Andrew M. Robbins, Maryke Gray, Thomas Breuer, Marie Manguette, Emma J. Stokes, Prosper Uwingeli, Innocent Mburanumwe, Edwin Kagoda & Martha M. Robbins
When mothers continue to support their offspring beyond infancy, they can influence the fitness of those offspring, the strength of social relationships within their groups, and the life-history traits of their species. Using up to 30 years of demographic data from 58 groups of gorillas in two study sites, this study extends such findings by showing that mothers may also contribute to differences in social organization between closely related species. Female mountain gorillas remained with...

Data from: Function and flexibility of object exploration in kea and New Caledonian crows

Megan L. Lambert, Martina Schiestl, Raoul Schwing, Alex H. Taylor, Gyula K. Gajdon, Katie E. Slocombe & Amanda M. Seed
A range of nonhuman animals frequently manipulate and explore objects in their environment, which may enable them to learn about physical properties and potentially form more abstract concepts of properties such as weight and rigidity. Whether animals can apply the information learned during their exploration to solve novel problems, however, and whether they actually change their exploratory behaviour to seek functional information about objects have not been fully explored. We allowed kea (Nestor notabilis) and...

Data from: Social disappointment explains chimpanzees' behaviour in the inequity aversion task

Jan M. Engelmann, Jeremy B. Clift, Esther Herrmann & Michael Tomasello
Chimpanzees’ refusal of less-preferred food when an experimenter has previously provided preferred food to a conspecific has been taken as evidence for a sense of fairness. Here, we present a novel hypothesis—the social disappointment hypothesis—according to which food refusals express chimpanzees' disappointment in the human experimenter for not rewarding them as well as they could have. We tested this hypothesis using a two-by-two design in which food was either distributed by an experimenter or a...

Data from: Evidence that metallic proxies are unsuitable for assessing the mechanics of microwear formation and a new theory of the meaning of microwear

Adam Van Casteren, Peter W. Lucas, David S. Strait, Shaji Michael, Nick Bierwisch, Norbert Schwarzer, Khaled Al-Fadhalah, Abdulwahab Almusallam, Lidia Arockia Thai, Sreeja Saji, Ali Shekeban, Michael V. Swain, Khaled J. Al-Fadhalah & Abdulwahab S. Almusallam
Mammalian tooth wear research reveals contrasting patterns seemingly linked to diet: irregularly-pitted enamel surfaces, possibly from consuming hard seeds, vs. roughly-aligned linearly-grooved surfaces, associated with eating tough leaves. These patterns are important for assigning diet to fossils, including hominins. However, experiments establishing conditions necessary for such damage challenge this paradigm. Lucas et al. (2013) slid natural objects against enamel, concluding anything less hard than enamel would rub, not abrade, its surface (producing no immediate wear)....

Data from: Space partitioning in wild, non-territorial mountain gorillas: the impact of food and neighbours

Nicole Seiler, Christophe Boesch, Roger Mundry, Colleen Stephens & Martha M. Robbins
In territorial species, the distribution of neighbours and food abundance play a crucial role in space use patterns but less is known about how and when neighbours use shared areas in non-territorial species. We investigated space partitioning in 10 groups of wild, non-territorial mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). Using location data, we examined factors influencing daily movement decisions and calculated the per cent overlap of annual kernel home ranges and core areas among neighbours. We...

Data from: The impact of paternity on male-infant association in a primate with low paternity certainty

Doreen Langos, Lars Kulik, Roger Mundry & Anja Widdig
In multimale groups where females mate promiscuously, male–infant associations have rarely been studied. However, recent studies have shown that males selectively support their offspring during agonistic conflicts with other juveniles and that father's presence accelerates offspring maturation. Furthermore, it was shown that males invest in unrelated infants to enhance future mating success with the infant's mother. Hence, infant care might provide fitness gain for males. Here, we investigate male–infant associations in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta),...

Data from: Going to extremes for sodium acquisition: use of community land and high-altitude areas by mountain gorillas Gorilla beringei in Rwanda

Cyril C. Grueter, Edward Wright, Didier Abavandimwe, Sylvia Ortmann, Antoine Mudakikwa, Abel Musana, Propser Uwingeli, Felix Ndagijimana, Veronica Vecellio, Tara S. Stoinski & Martha M. Robbins
Space use in mammals may be influenced not only by their primary foods, but also by localized sources of physiologically critical resources such as sodium-rich plants. We examined how sodium acquisition influences habitat use in mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei) in Rwanda which have increased the amount of time they forage on community land outside of Volcanoes National Park (VNP), where eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.) tree bark is their most frequently eaten food. We measured sodium content...

Data from: Exploiting gene families for phylogenomic analysis of myzostomid transcriptome data

Stefanie Hartmann, Conrad Helm, Birgit Nickel, Matthias Meyer, Torsten H. Struck, Ralph Tiedemann, Joachim Selbig & Christoph Bleidorn
BACKGROUND: In trying to understand the evolutionary relationships of organisms, the current flood of sequence data offers great opportunities, but also reveals new challenges with regard to data quality, the selection of data for subsequent analysis, and the automation of steps that were once done manually for single-gene analyses. Even though genome or transcriptome data is available for representatives of most bilaterian phyla, some enigmatic taxa still have an uncertain position in the animal tree...

Data from: The role of inhibitory dynamics in the loss and re-emergence of macropodoid tooth traits

Aidan M. C. Couzens, Alistair Robert Evans, Matthew M. Skinner & Gavin J. Prideaux
The reversibility of phenotypic evolution is likely to be strongly influenced by the ability of underlying developmental systems to generate ancestral traits. However, few studies have quantitatively linked these developmental dynamics to traits which re-evolve. In this study we assess how changes in the inhibitory cascade, a developmental system that regulates relative tooth size in mammals, influenced the loss and reversals of the posthypocristid, a molar tooth crest, in the kangaroo superfamily Macropodoidea. We find...

Data from: Genome-wide association study identifies vitamin B5 biosynthesis as a host specificity factor in Campylobacter

Samuel K. Sheppard, Xavier Didelot, Guillaume Meric, Alicia Torralbo, Keith A. Jolley, David J. Kelly, Stephen D. Bentley, Martin C. J. Maiden, Julian Parkhill & Daniel Falush
Genome-wide association studies have the potential to identify causal genetic factors underlying important phenotypes but have rarely been performed in bacteria. We present an association mapping method that takes into account the clonal population structure of bacteria and is applicable to both core and accessory genome variation. Campylobacter is a common cause of human gastroenteritis as a consequence of its proliferation in multiple farm animal species and its transmission via contaminated meat and poultry. We...

Chimpanzee identification and social Network construction through an online citizen science platform

Maureen S McCarthy
Citizen science has grown rapidly in popularity in recent years due to its potential to educate and engage the public while providing a means to address a myriad of scientific questions. However, the rise in popularity of citizen science has also been accompanied by concerns about the quality of data emerging from citizen science research projects. We assessed data quality in the online citizen scientist platform Chimp&See, which hosts camera trap videos of chimpanzees (Pan...

Data from: Chimpanzees behave prosocially in a group-specific manner

Edwin J. C. Van Leeuwen, Sarah E. DeTroy, Stephan P. Kaufhold, Clara Dubois, Sebastian Schütte, Josep Call & Daniel B. M. Haun
Chimpanzees act cooperatively in the wild, but whether they afford benefits to others, and whether their tendency to act prosocially varies across communities is unclear. Here, we show that chimpanzees from neighboring communities provide valuable resources to group members at personal cost, and that the magnitude of their prosocial behavior is group specific. Provided with a resource-donation experiment allowing for free (partner) choice, we observed an increase in prosocial acts across the study period in...

Data from: Ecological and evolutionary significance of primates’ most consumed plant families

Jun Ying Lim, Michael D. Wasserman, Jorin Veen, Marie-Lynne Despres-Einspenner & W. Daniel Kissling
Angiosperms have been essential components of primate diet for millions of years, but the relative importance of different angiosperm families in primate diets and their influence on primate evolution and ecology remains unclear. Here, we assess the contribution and ecological and evolutionary significance of plant families to the diets of wild primates based on an unprecedented dietary dataset of over 8,000 dietary records, compiled from 140 primary sources encompassing 109 primate species. Out of the...

Gregariousness, foraging effort, and social interactions in lactating bonobos and chimpanzees

Sean Lee, Gottfried Hohmann, Elizabeth Lonsdorf, Barbara Fruth & Carson Murray
Fission-fusion dynamics have evolved in a broad range of animal taxa and are thought to allow individuals to mitigate feeding competition. While this is the principal benefit of fission-fusion, few studies have evaluated its costs. We compared gregariousness, foraging budgets, and social budgets between lactating bonobos and chimpanzees from wild populations to evaluate such costs. Both species exhibit fission-fusion dynamics, but chimpanzees, particularly in East African populations, appear to experience higher feeding competition than bonobos....

Data from: Group and kin recognition via olfactory cues in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Stefanie Henkel & Joanna M. Setchell
Primates were traditionally thought to have a reduced sense of smell. Although there is now evidence that olfaction plays a greater role in primate social life than previously assumed, research on the sense of smell in non-human apes is scarce. Chimpanzees sniff the ground and vegetation on boundary patrols, but the function of this behaviour is unclear. Since chimpanzees are highly territorial and can kill individuals that do not belong to their own community, sniffing...

Data from: Distance sampling with camera traps

Eric J. Howe, Steven T. Buckland, Marie-Lyne Després-Einspenner, Hjalmar S. Kühl & Stephen T. Buckland
Reliable estimates of animal density and abundance are essential for effective wildlife conservation and management. Camera trapping has proven efficient for sampling multiple species, but statistical estimators of density from camera trapping data for species that cannot be individually identified are still in development. We extend point-transect methods for estimating animal density to accommodate data from camera traps, allowing researchers to exploit existing distance sampling theory and software for designing studies and analysing data. We...

Data from: A non-invasive method for sampling the body odour of mammals

Brigitte M. Weiß, Andrea Marcillo, Marta Manser, Ruben Holland, Claudia Birkemeyer & Anja Widdig
1. Olfaction is a central aspect of mammalian communication, providing information about individual attributes such as identity, sex, group membership or genetic quality. Yet, the chemical underpinnings of olfactory cues remain little understood, one of the reasons being the difficulty in obtaining high quality samples for chemical analysis. 2. In the present study we adjusted and evaluated the use of thermal desorption (TD) tubes, commonly used in plant metabolomic and environmental studies, for non-invasive sampling...

Data from: Chimpanzees trust conspecifics to engage in low-cost reciprocity

Jan M. Engelmann, Esther Herrmann & Michael Tomasello
Many of humans' most important social interactions rely on trust, including most notably among strangers. But little is known about the evolutionary roots of human trust. We presented chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) with a modified version of the human trust game—trust in reciprocity—in which subjects could opt either to obtain a small but safe reward on their own or else to send a larger reward to a partner and trust her to reciprocate a part of...

Data from: Model selection with overdispersed distance sampling data

Eric J. Howe, Stephen T. Buckland, Marie-Lyne Després-Einspenner & Hjalmar S. Kühl
1. Distance sampling (DS) is a widely-used framework for estimating animal abundance. DS models assume that observations of distances to animals are independent. Non-independent observations introduce overdispersion, causing model selection criteria such as AIC or AICc to favour overly complex models, with adverse effects on accuracy and precision. 2. We describe, and evaluate via simulation and with real data, estimators of an overdispersion factor (c ̂), and associated adjusted model selection criteria (QAIC) for use...

Data from: Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest

Constanze Hoffmann, Fee Zimmermann, Roman Biek, Hjalmar Kuehl, Kathrin Nowak, Roger Mundry, Anthony Agbor, Samuel Angedakin, Mimi Arandjelovic, Anja Blankenburg, Gregory Brazolla, Katherine Corogenes, Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann, Tobias Deschner, Paula Dieguez, Karsten Dierks, Ariane Düx, Susann Dupke, Henk Eshuis, Pierre Formenty, Yisa Ginath Yuh, Annemarie Goedmakers, Jan Gogarten, Anne-Céline Granjon, Scott McGraw … & Fabian Leendertz
Anthrax is a globally significant animal disease and zoonosis. Despite this, current knowledge of anthrax ecology is largely limited to arid ecosystems, where outbreaks are most commonly reported. We reveal cryptic the dynamics of an anthrax causing agent, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis, in a tropical rainforest with severe consequences for local wildlife communities. Using data and samples collected over three decades we found that rainforest anthrax is a persistent and widespread cause of death for...

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