'Separating the wheat from the chaff': A novel food processing technique in captive Gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla)


Journal Article

Observation of a novel food processing technique is reported for captive zoo gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla). It is similar in function to that of Japanese macaques' wheat placer mining behaviour and consists of puffing/blowing air with the mouth onto a mixture of oat grains and chaff in order to separate out the oat grains. Three females in two of four groups regularly use this behaviour. Other individuals in these groups or individuals of the two other groups in the same zoo do not use it. However, a very similar behaviour has been observed in three other individuals in a gorilla group of another zoo. The existence of this technique in spatially separated groups implies that multiple individuals have invented it for themselves. The possible role of social transmission is still to be investigated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pika, S; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • January 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 42 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 167 - 170

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0032-8332

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/BF02558144

Citation Source

  • Scopus