New paper by Lucy Baehren discusses leave taking in wild chacma baboons


Although greeting is well-studied across animal species, its counterpart, leave taking, is little studied in nonhumans. Here, we review the previous limitations of leave-taking research and use this to develop a new method for studying leave taking in nonhumans. Using videos of chacma baboons in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, we compared behaviours at the end of social departures to nonsocial departures. We found that shifting orientation towards the direction of parting was significantly more likely in social departures compared to nonsocial departures. As the first evidence of leave taking in a wild nonhuman species, we suggest that leave taking is not uniquely human as previously argued, and that our method could be used to further explore the presence of leave taking in other nonhuman species.

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