Beat your chest so you don’t have to hit your ass.
The image of King Kong beating his chest may seem like the ultimate threat exposure. However, German scientists have discovered that gorillas beat their sternum to avoid – rather than instigate – a fight.
Specifically, pec-pounding advertises the size of primacy, fighting skills, and other practical information, giving rivals a picture of what they would be up against if they chose to flash, National Geographic reported.
“We’ve found that it’s definitely a true and reliable signal – males are transmitting their true size,” said Edward Wright, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. said the Guardian. He is co-author of the percussion study published Thursday in “Scientific Reports.”
Many have speculated that gorillas communicate dimensions through moob-banging but “there was no data to support this claim,” according to Roberta Salmi, director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology of Primates at the University of Georgia.
To demonstrate their exciting theory, Wight and his team spent 3,000 hours studying endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, National Geographic reported.
They used audio equipment to record chest frequencies, number and duration of each display in six animals between November 2015 and July 2016. They then compared these variables with the size of the samples, which were calibrated by analyzing the photos of the animals. .
The researchers found that larger gorillas produced lower frequencies than their smaller counterparts, meaning that chest percussion was an “honest signal of competitive ability” and size, rather than an exaggerated threat sample, for the study. Think of a UFC fighter who lists his stats vs. drunk puffing his chest at the bar.
As a larger body size is correlated with a higher social rank – and therefore fighting ability – scientists have deduced that transmitting it through the chest could help gorillas avoid violence – a must in a species that grows up to 500 pounds.
“Even if you can win a fight, there’s still a pretty risk factor,” Wright explains. “These are big, powerful animals that can do a lot of damage.”
“It’s often about the chest beat and then they don’t fight,” he said, adding that the most powerful gorillas could be deterred by a larger silver, whose low-pitched beat is probably caused by their beaks. larger larynx. By the same token, an alpha Mighty Joe Young can hear a beta monkey drum alone and decide to be too small for the monkey.
Along with the size of the rivals, the chest shot could also be used to attract teammates, according to the research.
The next step is to understand how other gorillas translate their tongue to the breast.
“It will be very interesting to see how chest pounding in their environments could influence their movements and decisions as to which areas of their home field to use,” Salmi said.