Navigation Links
Long-term memory helps chimpanzees in their search for food
Date:10/23/2013

This news release is available in German.

Where do you go when the fruits in your favorite food tree are gone and you don't know which other tree has produced new fruit yet? An international team of researchers, led by Karline Janmaat from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, studied whether chimpanzees aim their travel to particular rainforest trees to check for fruit and how they increase their chances of discovering bountiful fruit crops. The scientists found that chimpanzees use long-term memory of the size and location of fruit trees and remember feeding experiences from previous seasons using a memory window which can be two months to three years ago.

For their study, the researchers recorded the behavior of five chimpanzee females for continuous periods of four to eight weeks, totaling 275 complete days, throughout multiple fruiting seasons in the Ta National Park, Cte d'Ivoire. They found that chimpanzees fed on significantly larger trees than other reproductively mature trees of the same species, especially if their fruits emitted an obvious smell. Interestingly, trees that were merely checked for edible fruit, but where monitoring could not have been triggered by smell, or the sound of fallen fruit, because the trees did not carry fruit, were also larger.

The researchers found that chimpanzees checked most trees along the way during travel, but 13% were approached in a goal-directed manner. These targeted approaches were unlikely initiated by visual cues and occurred more often when females foraged alone and when trees were large as opposed to small. The results suggested that their monitoring was guided by a long-term "what-where" memory of the location of large potential food trees. For their results, researchers analysed which of nearly 16000 potential food trees with different crown sizes were actually approached by the chimpanzees.

Observations on one female, followed intensively over three consecutive summers, suggested that she was able to remember feeding experiences across fruiting seasons. Long-term phenological data on individual trees indicated that the interval between successive fruiting seasons, and hence the minimal "memory window" of chimpanzees required for effective monitoring activities, could vary from two months to three years.

"The present study on chimpanzees is the first to show that our close relatives use long-term memory during their search for newly produced tropical fruit, and remember feeding experiences long after trees have been emptied", says Karline Janmaat of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

"For a long time people claimed that animals, contrary to humans, cannot remember the past. This study helps us to understand why chimpanzees and other primates should remember events over long periods in time. And guess what? It also shows they do!" says Christophe Boesch of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karline R. L. Janmaat
karline_janmaat@eva.mpg.de
49-152-158-77934
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Long-term research reveals causes and consequences of environmental change
2. Sexual reproduction brings long-term benefits, study shows
3. Long-term preservation: Pensoft Publishers partner with the CLOCKSS Archive
4. Model forecasts long-term impacts of forest land-use decisions
5. Study shows long-term effects of radiation in pediatric cancer patients
6. Is long-term weight loss possible after menopause?
7. New long-term antimicrobial catheter developed
8. Preeclampsia poses a significant long-term health risk according to new research from Ben-Gurion U.
9. Preemies brains reap long-term benefits from Kangaroo Mother Care
10. Site-specific, long-term research expanding understanding of climate change
11. Tsunami caused long-term ecosystem change in the Caribbean
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Long-term memory helps chimpanzees in their search for food
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray Imaging ... digital and computed radiography markets in Thailand ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an in-depth ... well as regional market drivers and restraints. The study ... and market attractiveness, both for digital and computed radiography. ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... Fla. , Feb. 1, 2016  Wocket® smart wallet ( www.wocketwallet.com ... and television personality, Joey Fatone . Las Vegas ... greet fans. --> Las Vegas , where ... --> The new video ad was filmed at the Consumer ... appeared at the Wocket booth to meet and greet fans. ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , January 22, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the  ... to their offering. --> ... of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric Market ... --> Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... LONDON , February 9, 2016 ... replace paper and protect IP   E-WorkBook ... will be rolled out in Germany ... and protect valuable IP. Users will be able to search ... or experiment as part of the application, to boost collaboration ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... , Feb. 9, 2016 ... Insights, 2016", report provides in depth insights ... activities around the Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) ... profiles in various stages of development including ... Phase III and Preregistration. Report covers the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR ), ... oncology, today announced that it has entered into ... Technology Growth Capital, Inc. and Hercules Technology III, ... --> --> ... financing under the loan and security agreement.  The ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... of Directors. Todorow is the Executive Vice President for Corporate Services and the ... oversees Finance, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Billing Operations, Treasury, Managed Care Contracting, Supply Chain, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: