I found this under research of baboon behavior:Baboon intimacy and detachment present vexing clues
There are a million stories in the naked jungle.
Some of the strangest ones take place on the savanna street corners where baboons hang out.
People need look no further for weird, even kinky, tales of life among the feral, fierce, and furry.
Baboons' odd practices offer more than vicarious thrills for nature buffs, though.
In the wild, these regal-looking, powerfully built monkeys behave in ways that raise intriguing questions about what goes on in their minds.
Consider this peculiar sight:
An adult male baboon strides stiff-legged up to another male while flashing a "let's-make-nice" facial expression, turns around, and permits the other fellow to briefly touch ....
In the macho world of male baboons, guys otherwise avoid each other between the skirmishes that determine the privileges of social authority, such as prime access to mates.
Why would the greeting monkey place his reproductive future literally in the palm of an opponent's hand?
Adult female baboons exhibit a perplexing habit of their own.
Understandably, they often emit a full-throated barking sound if separated from either their troop or their infants.
However, if a youngster that has wandered off starts screeching in distress, its mother stays mum.
Sure, she looks toward her child's call and may rush off in that direction.
Yet despite the threat of predators and infanticide-minded male baboons, the mom refuses to employ the search tactic of calling back and forth with the disoriented tyke.
Why not reach out and bark to someone?
Separate research teams are trying to figure out what these puzzling behaviors signify about baboons' mental states.
Preliminary explanations vary widely in their implications for how the animals think.
"Male baboons engage in common, highly variable, and complex ritual greetings," asserts anthropologist Barbara B. Smuts of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "
We know little about these rituals, but they're a rich source of information about how baboons communicate and think."
Smuts suspects that trust builds from successful completion of greetings, which are most common among older males.
Such salutations may even act as a nonverbal promise to help each other in driving young, dominant males away from sexually receptive females.
After dispatching a young suitor, members of these "over-the-hill" gangs alternate in approaching the female.
In contrast, female baboons' silence in the face of their lost infants' cries suggests that these adult monkeys fail to grasp that other individuals have thoughts and feelings, contends psychologist Drew Rendall of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.
"Complicated-looking behavior in baboons, including male greetings, may not require sophisticated social and cognitive capacities," he says.
Monkeys and apes--even chimpanzees trained to use simple languages--remain mute on the subject of whether they ponder either their own thoughts or those of others.
Until several years ago, many scientists were receptive to the idea that a variety of nonhuman primates can understand, to some extent, that they and others have motives and intentions.
A new breed of laboratory experiments, however, has challenged that assumption.
For example, when confronted with two people pointing to different cups, chimpanzees choose randomly and don't seem to realize that they can snag a snack by heeding the person whom they previously saw hiding food under one of the cups.
Although groups of chimps appear to pass on their own traditions of tool use and social communication, monkeys may not do so.
Field observations have yielded no conclusive evidence that monkeys impute thoughts or emotions to others, intentionally imitate what others do, or teach each other even simple food-gathering skills.
Still, it's too early to draw firm conclusions about the mental workings of non-human primates, Smuts says. Greetings between pairs of male baboons provide glimpses of what look to Smuts like learned performances.
Each greeting incorporates a set of conventional behaviors while still allowing for on-the-spot negotiations about who does what to whom and how far to go.
Smuts and anthropologist John M. Watanabe of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., have documented, over a 4-month period, 637 greetings among 12 adult males in a troop of 150 baboons in Kenya.
Smuts has also videotaped 400 such greetings in another baboon troop of comparable size.
Watanabe summarized his and Smuts' findings in February at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.
A typical greeting begins with one male walking upright rapidly toward another with a straight-legged, rolling stride.
The approaching male looks directly at his intended partner while making friendly gestures, such as smacking his lips, flattening his ears back, and narrowing his eyes.
Often, the second male maintains eye contact and smacks his lips in return.
In that case, the animals get up close and personal.
They often begin with a quick hug or nuzzle.
One then presents his hindquarters; the other grasps them, ...
Sometimes, participants exchange active and passive roles during a single greeting.http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... _62258567/
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