Although most primates live in groups, experiments on reciprocity usually test individuals in dyads. This could hide the processes emerging in richer social settings, reducing the ecological validity of the results. We run an experiment on reciprocal food transfers testing capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) in triads, so that subjects could choose to allow access to their food to either of their two partners. We tested the hypothesis that partner choice was related to a comparison of long-term social bonds with the two partners, more than to a comparison of recent food transfer events from the two partners. The results confirmed this hypothesis, thus supporting the notion that reciprocal partner preferences are based on long-term accounts of benefits that have been exchanged.
Food transfers in capuchin monkeys: an experiment on partner choice
Royal Society., London , Regno Unito
Biology letters (Online) 8 (2012): 757–759. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0534
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Sabbatini, Gloria; De Bortoli Vizioli, Aurora; Visalberghi, Elisabetta; Schino, Gabriele/titolo:Food transfers in capuchin monkeys: an experiment on partner choice/doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0534/rivista:Biology letters (Online)/anno