Multimodal communication development in semi-wild chimpanzees

Published: 8 February 2023| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/8wdrjdt376.2


This data represents communication behaviour in immature, semi-wild chimpanzees. We aimed to investigate the effects of age-related and contextual factors on the frequency of multimodal signal combinations, relative to unimodal facial expressions, gestures and vocalizations. The data shows that while unimodal signals are produced at a consistently higher frequency than multimodal combinations across all ages and contexts, the frequency of multimodal combinations increased significantly in older individuals and most within the play and aggression contexts, where the cost of signalling ambiguity may be higher. Furthermore, older individuals were more likely to produce a multimodal signal than a unimodal signal and again, there was a higher probability that a multimodal combination would be produced in in an aggressive context.


Steps to reproduce

Data was collected via recorded focal-observations of immature chimpanzees at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage, Zambia.


Durham University


Communication, Primate, Multimodality, Great Ape, Comparative Psychology


Stichting Lucie Burgers

British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology