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Guinea Baboon - Papio papio
221Extra Wrote:Guinea Baboon - Papio papio

[Image: 200804080102_papio.jpg]

Scientific Classification
Species:Papio Papio
(Desmarest, 1820)

The Guinea baboon inhabits a small area in western Africa. Its range includes Guinea, Senegal, Gambia, southern Mauritania and western Mali. Its habitat includes dry forests, gallery forests, and adjoining bush savannas or steppes. It has reddish-brown hair, a hairless, dark-violet or black face with the typical dog-like muzzle, which is surrounded by a small mane, and a tail carried in a round arc. It also has limb modifications that allow it to walk long distances on the ground. The Guinea baboon is the smallest baboon species, weighing between 13 and 26 kg (28.6–57 lbs). Their life spans are between 35 and 45 years.

The Guinea baboon is found in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. This species is found in savanna, woodland, steppe, and gallery forest habitats.

[Image: Guinea_Baboon_area.png]

The Guinea baboon is a frugivorous species, but leaves also constitute a major part of the diet. This species also eats flowers, roots, grasses, bark, twigs, sap, tubers, bulbs, mushrooms, lichens, aquatic plants, seeds, shoots, buds, invertebrates, and small vertebrates, such as gazelle. Females with infants mostly feed on the ground for grasses and on low bushes (Estes, 1991). Guinea baboons will sit on the ground and shuffle along as they feed for grasses and other food found on the ground (Richard, 1985). Group sizes are variable ranging from 40 to 200 individuals. This is a diurnal species. 
[Image: Female-Guinea-baboon-grooming-male-in-captivity.jpg]

The Guinea baboon moves on the ground quadrupedally (Fleagle, 1988). When they run their style can be compared to the gallop of the horse (Hall, 1962).
[Image: Guinea-baboon-chasing-young.jpg]

The Guinea baboon has a multimale-multifemale social system. This species has a promiscuous mating system. There is much aggression between males because of competition for females. Males disperse from their natal groups, and females are philopatric. A linear hierarchy exists within the group based on the matriline. Associations between males and females are important because when a male first tries to join a group he might have a difficult time, so an association with a female could help him. Male consorts with aid in the rearing of the infants in terms of carrying and grooming, and will come to the defense of their female when attacked by members of another troop (Estes, 1991). Male consorts will even become foster parents when the mother dies (Altmann, 1980). Adult males may act aggressively towards troop members if they lag behind when the troop is moving rapidly (Estes, 1991). Guinea baboons when threatened by predators such as leopards will mob them and sometimes the leopards are severely injured (Estes, 1991). The large groups sometimes break up into smaller groups containing just one male, the males do not herd or defend the females (Dunbar and Nathan, 1972).

[Image: Male-Guinea-baboon-resting-with-several-...tivity.jpg]

The Guinean baboons have a host of vocal, visual, and tactile communications. Their several vocal calls each convey different messages, and consist of predator warnings, signaling friendly intentions, submissive calls, and frustration vocalizations. Many of these calls can be used in combination with either each other or with some other form of visual or tactile communication. Visual communications serve many of the same purposes as the vocal calls, and are often accompanied by some sort of vocal call. Tactile communication is usually tied to visual communication and can range from mouth-to-mouth touching to biting or slapping.


The Guinea baboon gives birth to a single offspring. During estrus the perineum of the female swells up and turns pink. Females generally have 1-3 consorts from whom she chooses to mate with. 

presenting: This behavior is preformed by the female to elicit copulation from the male; this pattern tells the male that she is ready for copulation (Estes, 1991).
[Image: Guinea-baboon-copulation.jpg]

221Extra Wrote:Mature, wild male Guinea Baboons:

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SETA222 Wrote:Monkey Say, Monkey Do: Baboons Can Make Humanlike Speech Sounds
New research suggests our last common ancestor with these monkeys possessed the vocal machinery needed to speak

To the untrained listener, a bunch of babbling baboons may not sound like much. But sharp-eared experts have now found that our primate cousins can actually produce humanlike vowel sounds. The finding suggests the last common ancestor of humans and baboons may have possessed the vocal machinery for speech—hinting at a much earlier origin for language than previously thought.
Researchers from Grenoble Alpes University and Aix-Marseille University, both in France, and their colleagues recorded baboons in captivity, finding the animals were capable of producing five distinct sounds that have the same characteristic frequencies as human vowels. As reported today in PLoS ONE, the animals could make these sounds despite the fact that, as dissections later revealed, they possess high voice boxes, or larynxes, an anatomical feature long thought to be an impediment to speech. “This breaks a serious logjam” in the study of language, says study co-author Thomas Sawallis, a linguist at the University of Alabama. “Theories of language evolution have developed based on the idea that full speech was only available to anatomically modern Homo sapiens,” supporting an emergence of language 70,000 to 100,000 years ago, he says, but in fact, “we could have had the beginnings of speech 25 million years ago.”
The evolution of language is considered one of the hardest problems in science, because the process left no fossil evidence behind. One practical approach, however, is to study the mechanics of speech. Language consists roughly of different combinations of vowels and consonants. Notably, humans possess low larynxes, which makes it easier to produce a wide range of vowel sounds (and as Darwin observed, also makes it easier for us to choke on food). A foundational theory of speech production, developed by Brown University cognitive scientist Philip Lieberman in the 1960s, states the high larynxes and thus shorter vocal tracts of most nonhuman primates prevents them from producing vowel-like sounds. Yet recent research calls Lieberman’s hypothesis into question.

For one thing, scientists have discovered that a number of other species besides humans, including chimpanzees and some types of deer, possess low larynxes. In addition, babies can produce vowel sounds despite the fact their larynxes have not yet descended, and studies of Neandertals, who also have high larynxes, have suggested these ancient humans may have had the ability to produce such sounds as well. Moreover, scientists now think that the way the tongue muscle and lips constrict the airway is more important for producing speech than the position of the larynx.
In the present study, a team led by speech scientist Louis-Jean Boë recorded 15 guinea baboons (three male and 12 female) making spontaneous vocalizations, comprising grunts, “wahoos,” barks, yaks and copulation calls. They recorded the animals during the half hour before their feeding when they were most vocal. (They did not record the animals during feeding “to avoid potential distortion of the vocalizations due to chewing and full cheek pouches.”) Next they applied a technique known as linear predictive coding (LPC) analysis to determine the first two “formants”—frequencies that are emphasized by the vocal tract and define how a vowel sounds—as well as their fundamental frequency. “When you run sound through a resonating chamber, it emphasizes various parts along it—those are the formants,” Sawallis explains. The researchers detected the presence of five vowel-like formant configurations in the sounds they recorded from the baboons. In addition, the baboons used the same vowel-like sounds in different vocalizations, and strung two sounds together to produce “wahoos.”
The researchers also dissected the heads of a male and female baboon to measure the lengths of their vocal tracts and vocal folds as well as examine the tongue muscles. The monkeys’ vocal tracts were comparable with those of human children whereas their vocal folds were more similar in size to those of adult humans. And like us, the baboons appear to produce vowel-like sounds by moving their tongues horizontally and vertically.
Taken together, the results suggest the raw machinery for speech may have been present in the last common ancestor of humans and baboons. They bolster the findings of a recent study by evolutionary biologist Tecumseh Fitch of the University of Vienna and colleagues. Those researchers used x-rays of macaque vocal anatomy and computer models to show these animals were capable of producing humanlike speech sounds.
The two studies are complementary, says Fitch, who was not involved in the newer work. “They’re saying what baboons really do; we’re saying what [monkeys] could do.” His only “quibble” with the study was the argument that the baboons were producing vowel sounds despite their high larynxes; instead, he suggests that perhaps the animals are actually lowering their larynxes—but that doesn’t change the study’s conclusions. “The key question is simply, can a nonhuman vocal tract produce enough sounds that it could communicate linguistically? I think the conclusion of the Boë study and our study is, yes,” he notes.

One reason nonhuman primates were thought incapable of producing humanlike speech, some linguists believed, was every language had to have an “i” sound (pronounced “EE”). That sound, which monkey vocal tracts may be unable to manage, serves as a calibration that helps humans discriminate other vowels. But this may not, after all, be a necessary feature of language, says Ian Maddieson, a linguist at the University of New Mexico. “We now know quite a lot of languages that don’t have that sound,” he says.
“This study by Boë et al. is an elegant piece of research,” Adriano Lameira, an anthropologist at Durham University wrote in an e-mail. (Both he and Maddieson were not associated with this work.) “The results add to our understanding of how human speech—namely the vowel systems of the world’s languages—build upon primate precursors and how vowel systems operate within anatomical constrains that we also share with our primate cousins.”
Not everyone is as enthusiastic. Lieberman takes issue with the analysis technique. Rather than picking out formants, he argues, the LPC analysis is picking out harmonics, or overtones at multiples of the fundamental frequency. Sawallis acknowledges that confusing harmonics and formants is a risk with using this method but notes, “the trick is to identify the LPC setting that is least likely to misidentify the formants,” and says he and his colleagues took pains to do so.
Their result opens a whole slew of new questions about when and how language evolved. And scientists can now use this approach to look for this ability in other species, Sawallis says. “If the seeds of speech were planted 25 million years ago instead of 100,000 years ago,” he points out, “that’s an enormous difference.”

Journal Reference:
Louis-Jean Boë, Frédéric Berthommier, Thierry Legou, Guillaume Captier, Caralyn Kemp, Thomas R. Sawallis, Yannick Becker, Arnaud Rey, Joël Fagot. [big]Evidence of a Vocalic Proto-System in the Baboon (Papio papio) Suggests Pre-Hominin Speech Precursors.[/big] PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (1): e0169321 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169321

Language is a distinguishing characteristic of our species, and the course of its evolution is one of the hardest problems in science. It has long been generally considered that human speech requires a low larynx, and that the high larynx of nonhuman primates should preclude their producing the vowel systems universally found in human language. Examining the vocalizations through acoustic analyses, tongue anatomy, and modeling of acoustic potential, we found that baboons (Papio papio) produce sounds sharing the F1/F2 formant structure of the human [ɨ æ ɑ ɔ u] vowels, and that similarly with humans those vocalic qualities are organized as a system on two acoustic-anatomic axes. This confirms that hominoids can produce contrasting vowel qualities despite a high larynx. It suggests that spoken languages evolved from ancient articulatory skills already present in our last common ancestor with Cercopithecoidea, about 25 MYA.
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Ursus arctos Wrote:From here:
Baboons can learn to recognize words
Monkeys' ability suggests that reading taps into general systems of pattern recognition.

Even though they speak no language, baboons can achieve one of the first steps in reading — the ability to distinguish real words from nonsense on the basis of the arrangement of their letters.

The monkeys' ability suggests that reading is based on simple object-identification skills, rather than on more advanced linguistic skills, according to Jonathan Grainger and his colleagues at Aix-Marseille University in France.

“When we read, we’re capitalizing on object identification, an expertise we already have and one that’s quite ancient,” Grainger says. “We identify a table by its components: its tabletop and four legs. The same goes for identifying words using their component letters.”

Grainger's study was performed on six adolescent baboons (Papio papio) housed together. The animals had free access to computer screens displaying four-letter strings of words that formed either real English words or meaningless 'nonwords' that resembled real words, such as 'DRAN' or 'TELK'.

Interested baboons touched the screen to identify the letter string as a word or a nonword. A correct answer earned a food reward. Each baboon had a microchip in its arm that allowed the researchers to identify the individual taking the test. The team's results are published in Science today1.

Over 44 days, the animals completed around 50,000 tests. They identified words with an average of 75% accuracy, and learned between 81 and 308 words from the 500 words and more than 7,000 randomly generated nonwords that they were shown.

The main difference between words and nonwords was the number of frequently recurring bigrams they contained. Bigrams are combinations of two letters, such as the 'it' and 'te' in 'kite' and 'bite'. The researchers minimized common bigrams in nonwords and maximized them in words, so that the baboons could discriminate on the basis of statistical dependence between letters.

The team found that baboons were best at spotting the words containing the most common bigrams. This correlation shows that they were truly learning and not just memorizing the words.
O is for ‘orthography’

The researchers concluded that the baboons probably identified the English words by using orthographic information — the identity and position of the letters within the word.

Humans use similar cues when reading, says Emmanuel Keuleers, a psychologist at Ghent University in Belgium, who has conducted a similar experiment on humans2. Despite their knowledge of English, he says, “our participants partly relied on orthographic stimuli” to distinguish between words and nonwords.

A team of researchers led by Stanislas Dehaene, a cognitive psychologist at the Collège de France in Paris, has identified the part of the human brain that is responsible for the visualization of words3. There may be a similar brain region in baboons that is dedicated to this “key component of literacy”, he says.

Grainger is particularly interested in the neural attributes of skilled readers, and hopes that the results in baboons will aid in understanding this ability. The study may also help to uncover the causes of reading disabilities such as dyslexia, he adds.

The team next plans to try to teach the baboons an artificial alphabet. This would give greater control over the visual information that defines individual letters, Grainger explains, and would provide a more precise idea of how baboons master word recognition.

Please check the link for the above article's references.

The ability to use a screen like that and then both look at the letter strings and then pick up patterns that they can associate with being a word or not is pretty impressive!
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Male–male bonds as a key to the evolution of complex social systems

Date: September 10, 2014
Source: German Primate Center
A new study shows tolerance and cooperative ties between male Guinea baboons. Contests, threats, at best ignore one another: The relationships between male mammals are usually described in this or a similar way. The situation is quite different in humans where strong partnerships and close ties between unrelated men are widespread. Ranging from the joint construction of a hut up to the decisions of Executive Board members, there are countless examples that friendships among men bring decisive advantages and are a core ingredient of the complexity of human societies.

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Male Guinea baboons (Papio papio) form close cooperative connections with both related and unrelated conspecifics.

A German Primate Center (DPZ) study shows tolerance and cooperative ties between male Guinea baboons.
Contests, threats, at best ignore one another: The relationships between male mammals are usually described in this or a similar way. The situation is quite different in humans where strong partnerships and close ties between unrelated men are widespread. Ranging from the joint construction of a hut up to the decisions of Executive Board members, there are countless examples that friendships among men bring decisive advantages and are a core ingredient of the complexity of human societies. In their recently published study, Julia Fischer and her colleagues from the German Primate Center (DPZ) in Göttingen found that male Guinea baboons are tolerant and cooperative towards their same-sex conspecifics, even if they are not related. In this way, males actively contribute to the cohesion of their multilevel Baboon society. Guinea baboons are therefore a valuable model to understand the social evolution of humans.
Within a long-term field study conducted at the DPZ Research Station Simenti in Senegal, a population of Guinea baboons was observed over a period of two years. The scientists found that the social organization of the Guinea baboon has three tiers. The smallest and central units of the society are so-called parties comprising of three to four males with their associated females and their infants. Close social bonds between males are formed within the parties. The next higher level is the gang that consists of two or three parties. Also within the gang, some friendly social interactions between males could be observed. The third level includes all animals that share a home range and is referred to as a community.
"The degree of kinship did not affect the social interaction. The males form close cooperative connections with both related and unrelated conspecifics," says Julia Fischer, head of the Cognitive Ethology Laboratory at the German Primate Center. Furthermore, the male Guinea baboons showed far less rivalry as well as less aggression towards females than for example the chacma baboons. Interestingly, traits associated with intersexual competition such as the size of their canine teeth or testicles were also smaller in Guinea baboons than in other species.
"Our results show that a complex social organization builds on the emergence and maintenance of cooperation regardless of the genetic relationships," says Julia Fischer. Humans live in a multilevel social system too, where the smallest unit is the family. Within traditional societies, male individuals enter strong cooperative relationships with each other regardless of the degree of kinship. The occurrence of these bonds is associated with the evolutionary development of multilevel societies. "In order to understand our social evolution non-human primates who live in complex communities are important models," says Julia Fischer.
In future studies, the researchers want to investigate the role of females in the male friendships. Perhaps they prefer males with an established network and can thereby contribute to a more intensive friendship between males.

Journal Reference:
A. Patzelt, G. H. Kopp, I. Ndao, U. Kalbitzer, D. Zinner, J. Fischer. Male tolerance and male-male bonds in a multilevel primate society. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1405811111

Male relationships in most species of mammals generally are characterized by intense intrasexual competition, with little bonding among unrelated individuals. In contrast, human societies are characterized by high levels of cooperation and strong bonds among both related and unrelated males. The emergence of cooperative male–male relationships has been linked to the multilevel structure of traditional human societies. Based on an analysis of the patterns of spatial and social interaction in combination with genetic relatedness data of wild Guinea baboons (Papio papio), we show that this species exhibits a multilevel social organization in which males maintain strong bonds and are highly tolerant of each other. Several “units” of males with their associated females form “parties,” which team up as “gangs.” Several gangs of the same “community” use the same home range. Males formed strong bonds predominantly within parties; however, these bonds were not correlated with genetic relatedness. Agonistic interactions were relatively rare and were restricted to a few dyads. Although the social organization of Guinea baboons resembles that of hamadryas baboons, we found stronger male–male affiliation and more elaborate greeting rituals among male Guinea baboons and less aggression toward females. Thus, the social relationships of male Guinea baboons differ markedly from those of other members of the genus, adding valuable comparative data to test hypotheses regarding social evolution. We suggest that this species constitutes an intriguing model to study the predictors and fitness benefits of male bonds, thus contributing to a better understanding of the evolution of this important facet of human social behavior. 
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