Relational complexity in sooty mangabeys and Western chimpanzees

This week in the CRESIDA seminar series, the speaker is Alex Mielke (University of Portsmouth), who is sharing his research on relational complexity in sooty mangabeys and western chimpanzees. Come and join us on Thursday, October 17th at 4.15pm in Room G070 at Parkstead House to learn more.

Abstract

The concept of social complexity is fundamental in understanding how the lives of animal species differ, and has been linked to the evolution of cognitive and communicative abilities.  However, most research still uses unidimensional, structural measures of  complexity (e.g. group size) that might be poor representations of the  challenges faced by the individual. Here, I introduce the beginning of a multidimensional toolbox of measures of ‘relational’ complexity that can be used to compare social groups in a more meaningful way, and apply three measures of this toolbox to sooty mangabey and chimpanzee social relationships to reveal surprising differences and similarities between species.

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