Captive chimpanzee foraging in a social setting: a test of problem solving, flexibility, and spatial discounting

The purpose of this study was to document the acquisition of a novel foraging paradigm involving token exchange by a group of zoo-housed chimpanzees

Lydia M. Hopper

2015

Scholarcy highlights

  • How, when, where, and for how long animals forage for food is influenced by external factors, internal factors, and phylogenetic factors
  • Even in a captive setting, where primates are not required to forage for their daily food to survive, they have been reported to use efficient routes when searching for foods, sometimes bypassing less-preferred foods to reach more-preferred foods first, but evidence for such strategic foraging is mixed (e.g
  • The first chimpanzee to exchange a token did so during the first session of phase 1 at the CLOSE location and the last chimpanzee to start participating first exchanged a token at the FAR location during the 78th session in phase 3
  • There was no correlation between the chimpanzees’ rank and the order in which they acquired this task; there was a negative correlation between rank and number of tokens exchanged across all sessions
  • The purpose of this study was to document the acquisition of a novel foraging paradigm involving token exchange by a group of zoo-housed chimpanzees
  • Once all the chimpanzees were proficient at exchanging tokens, they chose to travel farther to exchange tokens for a preferred food, but sometimes adopted strategies to reduce the effort per exchange, by scrounging tokens and food rewards from others and by carrying more than one token at a time

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