Stone throwing as a sexual display in wild female bearded capuchin monkeys, Sapajus libidinosus

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Abstract

Capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) in captive settings frequently manipulate and throw objects. In the wild, they may push or drop stones and sticks toward targets during inter- or intraspecific threat displays. In addition, female capuchin monkeys exhibit a broad repertoire of behaviors during their proceptive period, including facial expressions, vocalizations, stereotyped body postures, and touch-and-run behavior. This study reports stone throwing as a newly-described communicative behavior during the proceptive display of females in a group of bearded capuchin monkeys (S. libidinosus) in Serra da Capivara National Park, Brazil. During a two-year study, three females from one group were seen throwing stones at males during their proceptive phase. After this period, three other females in the same group exhibited the same behavior. Although it may be possible that this pattern is the result of several independent innovations by each female, the apparent absence of this behavior in other groups leads us to suggest that we have documented the diffusion of a new behavioral trait or tradition within this capuchin social group. © 2013 Falótico, Ottoni.

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Falótico, T., & Ottoni, E. B. (2013). Stone throwing as a sexual display in wild female bearded capuchin monkeys, Sapajus libidinosus. PLoS ONE, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079535

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