Left Menu
Development News Edition

Study reveal chimpanzees can sniff out strangers from family members

Devdiscourse News Desk | Berlin | Updated: 24-10-2018 16:21 IST | Created: 24-10-2018 13:34 IST
Study reveal chimpanzees can sniff out strangers from family members
Chimpanzees can sniff out strangers from family members by discriminating between the smell of group members and others. (Reuters)

Chimpanzees can sniff out strangers from family members by discriminating between the smell of group members and others.

Researchers, including those from Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, conducted one of the first studies investigating the signalling function of social odours in non-human great apes.

Published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the study presented two groups of chimpanzees with urine from group members, strangers and an unscented control in aerated plexiglass boxes and videotaped their behaviour.

Chimpanzees sniffed longer at urine than at the control, suggesting they perceive the odour of other chimpanzees.

More importantly, they discriminated between the smell of group members and strangers, sniffing outgroup odours longer than ingroup odours.

"Chimpanzees are highly territorial, and encounters between groups are mostly hostile -- in fact, they sometimes kill individuals from other communities -- so olfactory cues might help them to locate other animals and determine whether they are group members or strangers, enhancing their survival and leading to fitness benefits," said Stefanie Henkel of the University of Leipzig.

"Odour might be especially important because most chimpanzees live in dense forests where visibility is low, and because in chimpanzee societies, group members split up into subgroups that may not see each other for days," Henkel said.

The researchers found that chimpanzees sniffed longer at the odour the more closely related they were to the odour donor, providing the first evidence for odour-mediated kin recognition in non-human great apes.

"The ability to recognise kin is crucial because it allows animals to choose appropriate partners for coalitions, avoid mating with close relatives, and avoid killing their own offspring," said Jo Setchell from Durham University in the UK.

"There is evidence that humans can also recognise the smell of their relatives, even as newborns. We apparently retained good olfactory capabilities, although we -- like our closest relatives, the chimpanzees -- don't usually scent-mark, and lack the specialised olfactory system found in many other animals," said Setchell.

"Our results help us to understand the evolution of primate chemical communication and suggest that we should pay more attention to olfaction in apes," said Setchell.



How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...

Loopholes in Healthcare Information System may have failed Singapore COVID-19 model

In the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore was in the limelight for its effective healthcare system and pandemic response plan. However, Singapore has now joined the list of the worst-hit nations and the situation is even worse...

Australia's COVID-19 response: Digital infrastructure of help but implementation remains a challenge

Australias ongoing plans to upgrade its health information system helped by the Digital Health Strategy seem even more practical due to the pandemic. But as evident during the pandemic, administrative lapses and the complex matrix of power ...


Latest News

Massive video board outside Raiders stadium nearly complete

While fans will not be allowed to attend Las Vegas Raiders home games this season, the team still will have a way to get a peek inside from the exterior of their new stadium. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the gargantuan 275-foo...

"Call of Duty" propels Activision to raise full-year sales forecast

Activision Blizzard Inc raised its full-year forecast for adjusted sales after beating quarterly estimates on Tuesday, encouraged by a pandemic-driven surge in gaming and the next release in its blockbuster Call of Duty franchise later this...

Novavax coronavirus vaccine induces immune response in small study

By Manas Mishra and Carl ODonnell Aug 4 - Novavax Inc said on Tuesday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced antibodies against the novel coronavirus and appears to be safe, according to initial data from a small, early-stage clinical t...

Golf-Tiger says overcoming elements will be key in San Francisco

Tiger Woods competes for his 16th major title at the PGA Championship this week on a TPC Harding Park course he knows well but will have to cope with August temperatures he is unaccustomed to when cool San Francisco fog blankets the area.Th...

Give Feedback