Does tolerance allow bonobos to outperform chimpanzees on a cooperative task? A conceptual replication of Hare et al., 2007

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Abstract

Across various taxa, social tolerance is thought to facilitate cooperation, and many species are treated as having species-specific patterns of social tolerance. Yet studies that assess wild and captive bonobos and chimpanzees result in contrasting findings. By replicating a cornerstone experimental study on tolerance and cooperation in bonobos and chimpanzees (Hare et al. 2007 Cur. Biol. 17, 619–623 (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.02. 040)), we aim to further our understanding of current discrepant findings. We tested bonobos and chimpanzees housed at the same facility in a co-feeding and cooperation task. Food was placed on dishes located on both ends or in the middle of a platform. In the co-feeding task, the tray was simply made available to the ape duos, whereas in the cooperation task the apes had to simultaneously pull at both ends of a rope attached to the platform to retrieve the food. By contrast to the published findings, bonobos and chimpanzees co-fed to a similar degree, indicating a similar level of tolerance. However, bonobos cooperated more than chimpanzees when the food was monopolizable, which replicates the original study. Our findings call into question the interpretation that at the species level bonobos cooperate to a higher degree because they are inherently more tolerant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number220194
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • bonobos
  • chimpanzees
  • cooperation
  • co-feeding
  • social tolerance
  • replication

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