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  The loud scratch: a newly identified gesture of Sumatran orangutan mothers in the wild

Frohlich, M., Lee, K., Setia, T. M., Schuppli, C., & van Schaik, C. P. (2019). The loud scratch: a newly identified gesture of Sumatran orangutan mothers in the wild. BIOLOGY LETTERS, 15(7): 20190209. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2019.0209.

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 Creators:
Frohlich, Marlen1, Author
Lee, Kevin2, Author              
Setia, Tatang Mitra1, Author
Schuppli, Caroline3, Author              
van Schaik, Carel P.1, Author
Affiliations:
1external, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society, ou_1497674              
3External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: The communicative function of primates self-directed behaviours like scratching has gained increasing - attention in recent years, but their intentional use is still debated. Here, we addressed this issue by exploring the communicative function of 'loud scratches' in wild Sumatran orangutans. Building on previous studies in chimpanzees, we examined the prediction that audio-visual loud scratches are used communicatively in mother- infant travel coordination. Specifically, we examined whether individual, social and scratch features affected the use of pre-move scratches, markers of intentional signal use and approach responses. We analysed a total of 1457 scratching bouts, produced by 17 individuals (including tour mothers and their dependent offspring) observed during 305 h of focal follows. Over-all, we found that scratching bouts preceded departure mainly when these were produced by mothers and showed features of exaggeration. If the scratching individual was a mother, associates were more likely to be visually attentive during pre-move scratches than in other contexts. Approach or follow responses to scratches by individuals in association were predicted by context, the relationship with the scratcher (i.e. offspring) and the associate's attentional state. We conclude that orangutan mothers use loud scratches as communicative strategies to coordinate joint travel with their infants.

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 Dates: 2019
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: ISI: 000479136400009
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0209
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Title: BIOLOGY LETTERS
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 15 (7) Sequence Number: 20190209 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1744-9561