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Vol. 78, No. 4, 2007
Issue release date: August 2007

Etho-Archaeology of Manual Laterality: Well Digging by Wild Chimpanzees

McGrew W.C. · Marchant L.F. · Hunt K.D.
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Abstract

We present the first indirect test of manually lateralized behaviour in non-human primates, based on wells dug for drinking water by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). Apes at Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve, in Uganda, dig bimanually in sandy riverbeds, leaving behind paired piles of excavated sand. The volumes of left- versus right-side piles do not differ, suggesting a lack of behavioural laterality, but this needs to be verified by further, direct observational data.



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