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Aggressive object displays of captive baboons

, : Aggressive object displays of captive baboons. Journal of Mammalogy 56(4): 949-950

An olive baboon (Papio anubis), approximately 11 yr old, which has lived in captivity for most of her life, and a feral-born infant olive baboon approximately 9 mo. old at the time of the 1st observation of object-display, were studied. The threat movements described were all directed while the author (a male) was sitting quietly and expressionless at a distance of approximately 6 ft. In all cases, the threat responses began within a few seconds of the observer's arrival and ended after 2-3 min duration. When the observer engaged in sustained eye contact with either of the 2 animals, the object-displays were likely to reappear briefly. In each case the baboon subject repeatedly struck at a small metal water dish with the back of her hand during the course of convulsive jerks, head-bobbing and eyelid-flashing threat movements. Each striking movement propelled the dish in the direction of the observer. In form, the behavior sequence resembled the typical ground-slapping threat movement of baboons and macaques. Noise probably enhances the effectiveness of the dish as a projectile. Of additional interest is the younger subject's occasional use of the solid side of its steel cage to enhance display. This behavior occurred both in concert with, and separate from, the dish display.


PMID: 1237529

DOI: 10.2307/1379674

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