Get access

Flexibility and Persistence of Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) Foraging Behavior in a Captive Environmentxht

Authors

  • KRISTIN E. BONNIE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lincoln Park Zoo, The Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    • Department of Psychology, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Marissa S. Milstein,

    1. Lincoln Park Zoo, The Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sarah E. Calcutt,

    1. Lincoln Park Zoo, The Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • STEPHEN R. ROSS,

    1. Lincoln Park Zoo, The Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kathy E. Wagner,

    1. Lincoln Park Zoo, The Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf

    1. Lincoln Park Zoo, The Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    2. Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence to: Kristin E. Bonnie, Department of Psychology, Beloit College, 700 College St., Beloit, WI 53511. E-mail: bonniek@beloit.edu

Abstract

As a result of environmental variability, animals may be confronted with uncertainty surrounding the presence of, or accessibility to, food resources at a given location or time. While individuals can rely on personal experience to manage this variability, the behavior of members of an individual's social group can also provide information regarding the availability or location of a food resource. The purpose of the present study was to measure how captive chimpanzees individually and collectively adjust their foraging strategies at an artificial termite mound, as the availability of resources provided by the mound varied over a number of weeks. As predicted, fishing activity at the mound was related to resource availability. However, chimpanzees continued to fish at unbaited locations on the days and weeks after a location had last contained food. Consistent with previous studies, our findings show that chimpanzees do not completely abandon previously learned habits despite learning individually and/or socially that the habit is no longer effective. Am. J. Primatol. 74:661–668, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ancillary