Flashcards for Primate Behavior
Topics 3-4:  Adaptations of Group Living and Communication
(10 cards)

Select the "Next Card" button to see a card. Select it again to view the answer.
"Delete Card" allows you to eliminate a card from the stack during this session.
Copyright © 2004-2012 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.

The term for a group of animals that seek food together. In the case of non-human primates, this group may consist of all community members or only some of them. The size of this group normally adjusts to the abundance of the food supply.

foraging group

A term referring broadly to learned behavior patterns. These include the skills and knowledge necessary for survival. They do not include genetically inherited capabilities, instincts, and drives.


A term referring to a very rudimentary culture. Chimpanzees and possibly other great apes have such simple cultures. While they are dependent on their community's learned behavior patterns for survival, they do not have complex cultural technologies like humans.


A term used by primatologists to refer to sounds produced primarily by the throat and mouth. Among nonhuman primates, these include a wide variety of hoots, whistles, grunts, etc.


Things, such as words, that represent something else. That is to say, words are combinations of sounds with arbitrarily assigned specific meanings. The meanings cannot be discerned by listening to the sounds. They must be explained. This is very different from a universally understood cry out from pain or fear.


The term for claiming territory and warning off intruders with one’s own urine or other chemicals produced by glands in the body.

scent marking

The general term for a threatening gesture, stare, pose, or display intended to intimidate others.

agonistic display

The term for carefully picking through the hair of another individual, looking for insects, twigs, and other debris. Doing this to others is a common way by which primates communicate affection and reduce group tension.

The term for grooming oneself.

Visual messages, or body language, used by primates and other animals primarily to communicate. These messages are a strong indication of an animal's current emotional state.