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BonobosUnique in Mind, Brain, and Behavior$
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Brian Hare and Shinya Yamamoto

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198728511.001.0001

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Courtesy food sharing characterized by begging for social bonds in wild bonobos

Courtesy food sharing characterized by begging for social bonds in wild bonobos

(p.125) Chapter 9 Courtesy food sharing characterized by begging for social bonds in wild bonobos

Shinya Yamamoto

Takeshi Furuichi

Oxford University Press

Food sharing has played an important role in the evolution of cooperation, especially in hominization. Evolutionary theories regarding food sharing have been based mainly on chimpanzee meat sharing. However, in bonobos, our other closest evolutionary relatives, food sharing occurs in considerably different ways than it does in chimpanzees. Bonobos often share plant food, which can often be obtained without any cooperation or specialized skills, sometimes even when the same food items are abundant and easily available at the sites. The characteristics of bonobo food sharing appear to be at odds with previous hypotheses, such as reciprocity and sharing under pressure, and urge us to shift our viewpoint from the food owner to the recipient. This chapter proposes that recipients beg to strengthen social bonding as well as to gain access to the food itself. Frequent fruit sharing among bonobos may shed light on the evolution of courtesy food sharing to enhance social bonds in a resource-rich environment. Le partage de la nourriture a joué un rôle très important dans l’évolution de coopération, spécialement dans la hominisation. Les théories évolutionnaires sur le partage de la nourriture sont basées, pour la plupart, sur le partage de la viande par les chimpanzés. Cependant, chez les bonobos, nos autres parents évolutionnaires, le partage de la nourriture est fait d’une manière très différente que chez les chimpanzés. Les bonobos partagent fréquemment les aliments végétaux, qui sont obtenus sans coopération et sans compétences spécialisées, et parfois le font même quand cette même nourriture est facilement accessible aux sites. Les caractéristiques du partage de nourriture chez les bonobos contredisent des hypothèses précédentes, comme celle de la réciprocité et du partage-sous-pression, et nous poussent à changer la perspective du propriétaire de la nourriture à celle du bénéficiaire. Nous proposons que les bénéficiaires supplient pour commencer à se lier socialement, et pour accéder à la nourriture. Le partage fréquent des fruits chez les bonobos peut nous informer sur l’évolution du partage de nourriture par politesse pour augmenter les liens sociaux dans un environnement plein de ressources.

Keywords:   Bonobo, plant food sharing, cooperation, prosocial behaviour, begging, female–female bond, reciprocity, sex difference, developmental change, Wamba

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