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Holding-on: co-evolution between infant carrying and grasping behaviour in strepsirrhines.

ABSTRACT: The origin and evolution of manual grasping remain poorly understood. The ability to cling requires important grasping abilities and is essential to survive in species where the young are carried in the fur. A previous study has suggested that this behaviour could be a pre-adaptation for the evolution of fine manipulative skills. In this study we tested the co-evolution between infant carrying in the fur and manual grasping abilities in the context of food manipulation. As strepsirrhines vary in the way infants are carried (mouth vs. fur), they are an excellent model to test this hypothesis. Data on food manipulation behaviour were collected for 21 species of strepsirrhines. Our results show that fur-carrying species exhibited significantly more frequent manual grasping of food items. This study clearly illustrates the potential novel insights that a behaviour (infant carrying) that has previously been largely ignored in the discussion of the evolution of primate manipulation can bring.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC5121892 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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