Zoological Research ›› 2019, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (2): 129-138.doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.023

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Effects of age, sex and manual task on hand preference in wild Rhinopithecus roxellana

Wei-Wei Fu1, Xiao-Wei Wang1,*, Cheng-Liang Wang1, Hai-Tao Zhao1, Yi Ren1, Bao-Guo Li2,3,*   

  1. 1 Shaanxi Key Laboratory for Animal Conservation, Shaanxi Institute of Zoology, Xi’an Shaanxi 710032, China
    2 Shaanxi Key Laboratory for Animal Conservation, College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an Shaanxi 710069, China
    3 Center for Excellence in Animal Evolution and Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming Yunnan 650223, China
  • Online:2019-03-18 Published:2019-01-11
  • Contact: Xiao-Wei Wang,Bao-Guo Li,E-mail:wxw8008@126.com; baoguoli@nwu.edu.cn E-mail:wxw8008@126.com; baoguoli@nwu.edu.cn
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Abstract: Golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana), as typical arboreal group-living Old World monkeys, provide an appropriate animal model to research manual laterality and explore the factors affecting hand preference in nonhuman primates. This study investigated hand preference based on 63 subjects and four spontaneous manual tasks (including unimanual and bimanual feeding and grooming), and assessed the effects of age, gender and type of task on handedness in R. roxellana. A population-level left-handedness was found not only in the bimanual coordinated tasks (bimanual feeding and grooming), but also in one unimanual reaching task (unimanual feeding). There were no significant differences between the sexes in either direction or strength of hand preference among any task. However, a significant difference between adults and juveniles was found in the unimanual feeding task. This is the first report on handedness in unimanual and bimanual feeding tasks that require bipedal posture in wild R. roxellana. Furthermore, this study demonstrated spontaneous feeding tasks reported previously only in the quadrupedal posture in this species, supporting the importance of factors such as posture and task complexity in the evolution of primate manual lateralization.

Key words: Handedness, Unimanual reaching, Bimanual coordination, Sex, Age

CLC Number: 

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