The Association Between the Bared-Teeth Display and Social Dominance in Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
Kim, Y.; Vlaeyen, J.; Heesen, R.; Clay, Z.; Kret, M.
Mrs Raphaela Heesen firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Doctoral Research Associate
Professor Zanna Clay email@example.com
Humans use smiles — widely observed emotional expressions — in a variety of social situations, of which the meaning varies depending on social relationship and the context in which it is displayed. The homologue of the human smile in non-human primates — both due to morphological and functional similarities — is the bared-teeth display (BT). According to the power asymmetry hypothesis (PAH), species with strict linear dominance hierarchies are predicted to produce distinct communicative signals to avoid escalations of social conflicts. Hence, while the BT in a despotic species is predicted to be expressed from low- to high-ranking individuals, signaling submission, the BT in a tolerant species is predicted to be expressed in multiple contexts, regardless of rank. We tested this hypothesis in a group of 8 captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), a species commonly characterized as rather despotic. An investigation of 11,774 dyadic social interactions revealed this chimpanzee group to have a linear dominance hierarchy, with moderate steepness. A Bayesian GLMM — used to test the effects of social contexts and rank relationships of dyads on the use of the BT display — indicated multi-contextual use of the BT which is contingent on the rank relationship. We also found that slight morphological and/or acoustic variants (i.e., silent bared-teeth and vocalized bared-teeth) of the BT display may have different communicative meanings. Our findings are in line with the prediction derived from the PAH for a moderately despotic species, and the view that the human smile originated from the primate BT display.
Kim, Y., Vlaeyen, J., Heesen, R., Clay, Z., & Kret, M. (2022). The Association Between the Bared-Teeth Display and Social Dominance in Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Affective Science, 3(4), 749-760. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42761-022-00138-1
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Jun 26, 2022|
|Online Publication Date||Oct 6, 2022|
|Deposit Date||Aug 9, 2022|
|Publicly Available Date||Jul 18, 2023|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
Published Journal Article
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