Title

Tibetan Macaque Bridging Behavior

Presenter Information

Grant Clifton

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 271

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Primate Behavior, Visual Representation, Buffering Aggression

Abstract

This presentation includes a short expository documentary that contributes to our understanding a behavior that occurs in Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) known as bridging, and presents visual data on the behavior. Bridging is a complex interaction in which two individuals lift an infant between one another and lick the infant’s genitals. The behavior is affiliative, and among males, it is believed to function as a buffer to prevent aggression from dominant individuals. However, bridging is still understudied, and although all age and sex classes engage in bridging, past research has primarily focused on bridging between males. Furthermore, few visual depictions of the behavior exist outside of academic journals. During August and September, 2014, I conducted and visually documented a study on female bridging at The Valley of the Wild Monkeys near Huangshan, China, and identified differences between female and male bridging. The documentary around which my presentation is built introduces Tibetan macaques, explains bridging behavior, and summarizes hypotheses on its functionality. Additionally, I describe the gaps that my research fills, and conclude with ideas for future research, all with rich visual depiction.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Lene Pedersen

Department/Program

Anthropology & Museum Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology & Museum Studies

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May 21st, 1:10 PM May 21st, 1:30 PM

Tibetan Macaque Bridging Behavior

SURC 271

This presentation includes a short expository documentary that contributes to our understanding a behavior that occurs in Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) known as bridging, and presents visual data on the behavior. Bridging is a complex interaction in which two individuals lift an infant between one another and lick the infant’s genitals. The behavior is affiliative, and among males, it is believed to function as a buffer to prevent aggression from dominant individuals. However, bridging is still understudied, and although all age and sex classes engage in bridging, past research has primarily focused on bridging between males. Furthermore, few visual depictions of the behavior exist outside of academic journals. During August and September, 2014, I conducted and visually documented a study on female bridging at The Valley of the Wild Monkeys near Huangshan, China, and identified differences between female and male bridging. The documentary around which my presentation is built introduces Tibetan macaques, explains bridging behavior, and summarizes hypotheses on its functionality. Additionally, I describe the gaps that my research fills, and conclude with ideas for future research, all with rich visual depiction.