Search Results

Frans B.M. De Waal

Abstract

Ten bonobos (Pan paniscus), housed in three separate subgroups at the San Diego Zoological Garden, were observed for 288 hours over a four-month period. The colony included one adult male, two adult females, two adolescent males, four juveniles, and one infant. Data on 5,135 sequences of social behavior were collected either as spoken accounts or as video recordings. In addition, high-quality sound recordings were obtained for spectrographic analysis. The data were subjected to a quantitative analysis of probabilities of association between 44 communicative behavior patterns and 40 different context types. The paper treats each communicative behavior pattern separately, providing a) its frequency, b) the most common inter-individual directions of performance, c) characteristic contexts, d) a description, e) a commentary on its possible functions, and 1) a comparison with the behavior of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). The study shows that, while the behavioral repertoires of the two Pan species are fundamentally similar, interesting differences exist in their vocal repertoires, sexual behavior, and agonistic behavior. The bonobo's voice has a higher pitch, and many of its vocalizations are structurally different from homologous chimpanzee vocalizations. The greatest difference concerns the long-distance hooting calls of the two species. The bonobo's sexual behavior is much more elaborate than the chimpanzee's, including ventro-ventral copulation, and "GG-rubbing" between adult females. Sexual forms of contact seem to serve many of the reassurance and reconciliation functions fulfilled by nongenital contact forms in the chimpanzee. Finally, the bonobo's agonistic behavior is less elaborate and appears more controlled than the chimpanzee's.

Frans B.M. de Waal

The evolution of behavior is sometimes considered irrelevant to the issue of human morality, since it lacks the normative character of morality (‘ought’), and consist entirely of descriptions of how things are or came about (‘is’). Evolved behavior, including that of other animals, is not entirely devoid of normativity, however. Defining normativity as adherence to an ideal or standard, there is ample evidence that animals treat their social relationships in this manner. In other words, they pursue social values. Here I review evidence that nonhuman primates actively try to preserve harmony within their social network by, e.g., reconciling after conflict, protesting against unequal divisions, and breaking up fights amongst others. In doing so, they correct deviations from an ideal state. They further show emotional self-control and anticipatory conflict resolution in order to prevent such deviations. Recognition of the goal-orientation and normative character of animal social behavior permits us to partially bridge the is/ought divide erected in relation to human moral behavior.

Frans B.M. de Waal

Abstract

The evolution of behavior is sometimes considered irrelevant to the issue of human morality, since it lacks the normative character of morality (‘ought’), and consist entirely of descriptions of how things are or came about (‘is’). Evolved behavior, including that of other animals, is not entirely devoid of normativity, however. Defining normativity as adherence to an ideal or standard, there is ample evidence that animals treat their social relationships in this manner. In other words, they pursue social values. Here I review evidence that nonhuman primates actively try to preserve harmony within their social network by, e.g., reconciling after conflict, protesting against unequal divisions, and breaking up fights amongst others. In doing so, they correct deviations from an ideal state. They further show emotional self-control and anticipatory conflict resolution in order to prevent such deviations. Recognition of the goal-orientation and normative character of animal social behavior permits us to partially bridge the is/ought divide erected in relation to human moral behavior.

Frans B.M. De Waal and Deborah Yoshihara

Zanna Clay and Frans B.M. de Waal

Sexual contacts are thought to play an important role in regulating social tension in bonobos (Pan paniscus), and are especially common following aggressive conflicts, either between former opponents or involving bystanders. Nevertheless, research on the factors determining post-conflict sexual contacts, their effectiveness in reducing social tension and the nature of post-conflict sexual behaviour is scarce. Here, we collected data on post-conflict affiliative contacts in bonobos occurring between former opponents (reconciliation) and offered by bystanders towards victims (consolation) to investigate the role of sexual contacts in the regulation of aggressive conflicts compared to non-sexual affiliation behaviours. We tested whether post-conflict sexual contacts: (1) alleviate stress, (2) confer reproductive benefits, (3) mediate food-related conflict and (4) repair valuable social bonds. Thirty-six semi-free bonobos of all ages were observed at the Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary, DR Congo, using standardized Post-Conflict/Matched Control methods. Consolation and reconciliation were both marked by significant increases in the occurrence of sexual behaviours. Reconciliation was almost exclusively characterized by sexual contacts, although consolation was also characterized by increases in non-sexual behaviours, such as embrace. Adults were more likely to engage in post-conflict sexual contacts than younger bonobos. Consistent with the stress-alleviation hypothesis, victims receiving sexual consolatory contact showed significantly lower rates of self-scratching, a marker of stress in primates, compared to receiving non-sexual contact. Post-conflict sexual contacts were not targeted towards valuable social partners and they did not confer obvious reproductive benefits; nor were they used to mediate food-related conflicts. Overall, results highlight the role of sex in regulating tension and social conflicts in bonobos.

Zanna Clay and Frans B.M. de Waal

Abstract

Sexual contacts are thought to play an important role in regulating social tension in bonobos (Pan paniscus), and are especially common following aggressive conflicts, either between former opponents or involving bystanders. Nevertheless, research on the factors determining post-conflict sexual contacts, their effectiveness in reducing social tension and the nature of post-conflict sexual behaviour is scarce. Here, we collected data on post-conflict affiliative contacts in bonobos occurring between former opponents (reconciliation) and offered by bystanders towards victims (consolation) to investigate the role of sexual contacts in the regulation of aggressive conflicts compared to non-sexual affiliation behaviours. We tested whether post-conflict sexual contacts: (1) alleviate stress, (2) confer reproductive benefits, (3) mediate food-related conflict and (4) repair valuable social bonds. Thirty-six semi-free bonobos of all ages were observed at the Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary, DR Congo, using standardized Post-Conflict/Matched Control methods. Consolation and reconciliation were both marked by significant increases in the occurrence of sexual behaviours. Reconciliation was almost exclusively characterized by sexual contacts, although consolation was also characterized by increases in non-sexual behaviours, such as embrace. Adults were more likely to engage in post-conflict sexual contacts than younger bonobos. Consistent with the stress-alleviation hypothesis, victims receiving sexual consolatory contact showed significantly lower rates of self-scratching, a marker of stress in primates, compared to receiving non-sexual contact. Post-conflict sexual contacts were not targeted towards valuable social partners and they did not confer obvious reproductive benefits; nor were they used to mediate food-related conflicts. Overall, results highlight the role of sex in regulating tension and social conflicts in bonobos.

Editor-in-Chief Prof. Frans B.M. de Waal

Behaviour is interested in all aspects of animal (including human) behaviour, from ecology and physiology to learning, cognition, and neuroscience. Evolutionary approaches, which concern themselves with the advantages of behaviour or capacities for the organism and its reproduction, receive much attention both at a theoretical level and as it relates to specific behaviour.

The journal Behaviour has its roots in ethology and behavioural biology (see historical note), in which the emphasis is not so much on how animals compare with humans under strictly controlled conditions (as in comparative psychology), but more on tracing the phylogeny and evolution of natural behaviour as shown under naturalistic or natural conditions. Specialized cognition and communication are part of this approach. Well-controlled laboratory experiments are needed and welcome, but by no means the only approach. Behaviour has a long tradition of publishing systematic observations of spontaneous behaviour.

Behaviour covers the whole animal kingdom, from invertebrates to fish, and from frogs to primates. The study of animal behaviour remains vibrant and keeps attracting young, talented scientists, who will find Behaviour a journal with a quick turn-around time (we strive for first reviews within a month) read by a wide range of students and researchers of animal behaviour.

Historical note: Behaviour was founded by Nobel Prize winner Niko Tinbergen together with W. H. Thorpe, in 1948. In a classical 1963 paper—dedicated to the 60th birthday of that other animal behaviour Nobelist, Konrad Lorenz—Tinbergen proposed that questions relating to why an animal behaves in a particular way can be viewed through four prisms. At the proximate level, we have 1) the causation of behaviour (its underlying motivation, cognition, and emotions), and 2) the behaviour's ontogeny, such as how it develops or is acquired. At the ultimate level, we have 3) the behavior's survival value, and 4) its evolution and phylogeny. Behaviour seeks to cover all four prisms equally.

2018 Impact Factor: 1.401
5 Year Impact Factor: 1.4

The editorial board of Behaviour wishes to state unequivocally that it is not our policy to influence the Impact Factor in any way that could be regarded unethical.

Online submission: Articles for publication in Behaviour can be submitted online through Editorial Manager, please click here. As of July 1st 2017, full colour images and figures are published free of charge.

Need support prior to submitting your manuscript? Make the process of preparing and submitting a manuscript easier with Brill's suite of author services, an online platform that connects academics seeking support for their work with specialized experts who can help.

Alternatively, you may submit your manuscript through Behaviour’s site at the Peerage of Science community. Peerage of Science features Open Engagement, allowing any qualified, non-affiliated scientist to engage to peer-review your work. The end result includes revision recommendations, and standardized quantitative evaluation of the revised version, in addition to the reviews. Peerage of Science is free of any charges. Click here to submit your work to the journal, using Peerage of Science.