Extractive foraging and tool-aided behaviors in the wild Nicobar long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis umbrosus)

Pal, Arijit and Kumara, Honnavalli N and Mishra, Partha Sarathi and Velankar, Avadhoot D and Singh, Mewa (2018) Extractive foraging and tool-aided behaviors in the wild Nicobar long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis umbrosus). Primates, 59 (2). pp. 173-183. ISSN 0032-8332

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Macaques possess a repertoire of extractive foraging techniques that range from complex manipulation to tool-aided behaviors, to access food items that increase their foraging efficiency substantially. However, the complexity and composition of such techniques vary considerably between species and even between populations. In the present study, we report seven such complex manipulative behaviors that include six extractive foraging behaviors, and teeth flossing, in a population of Nicobar long-tailed macaques. The apparent purpose of these behaviors was an extraction of encased food, processing food, foraging hidden invertebrates, and dental flossing. Among these behaviors, three behaviors viz. wrapping, wiping, and teeth-flossing were tool-aided behaviors, where macaques used both natural and synthetic materials as tools. Occasionally macaques also modified those tools prior to their use. The substrate use patterns of leaf rubbing and teeth flossing were similar to that observed in other macaques. The spontaneous tool modification to perform wrapping was a first time observation. These observations suggest that Nicobar long-tailed macaques have a high level of sensorimotor intelligence which helps to evolve such innovative foraging solutions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bush beating; flossing; husking; substrate use; wiping; wrapping.
Subjects: Research > Research Center - Health Sciences
Depositing User: KMC Library
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 09:03
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2020 04:12
URI: http://eprints.manipal.edu/id/eprint/151956

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