Reciprocal signaling in honeyguide-human mutualism
Begg, Keith S
Begg, Colleen M
American Association for the Advancement of Science
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Spottiswoode, C., Begg, K. S., & Begg, C. M. (2016). Reciprocal signaling in honeyguide-human mutualism. Science, 353 387-389. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf4885
Greater honeyguides (Indicator indicator) lead human honey-hunters to wild bees' nests, in a rare example of a mutualistic foraging partnership between humans and free-living wild animals. We show experimentally that a specialized vocal sound made by Mozambican honey-hunters seeking bees' nests elicits elevated cooperative behavior from honeyguides. The production of this sound increased the probability of being guided by a honeyguide from about 33% to 66%, and the overall probability of thus finding a bees’ nest from 17% to 54%, as compared to other animal or human sounds of similar amplitude. These results provide experimental evidence that a wild animal in a natural setting responds adaptively to a human signal of cooperation.
Is supplemented by: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8c65s
CNS was supported by a BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship (BB/J014109/1) and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf4885
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/256963