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Systematic mapping of developmental milestones in wild chimpanzees.

Published on May 15, 2020in Developmental Science
· DOI :10.1111/DESC.12988
Aisha C. Bründl (MPG: Max Planck Society), Patrick J. Tkaczynski7
Estimated H-index: 7
(MPG: Max Planck Society)
+ 3 AuthorsCatherine Crockford27
Estimated H-index: 27
(MPG: Max Planck Society)
Abstract
: Postnatal development is protracted relative to lifespan in many primates, including modern humans (Homo sapiens), facilitating the acquisition of key motor, communication and social skills that can maximise fitness later in life. Nevertheless, it remains unclear what evolutionary drivers led to extended immature periods. While the developmental milestone literature is well established in humans, insight we can gain from one-species models is limited. By comparing the timing of relatable developmental milestones in a closely related species, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), we can gain further understanding of the evolution of such an extended developmental phase. To date, few studies have specifically attempted to estimate developmental milestones in a manner comparable to the human literature, and existing studies lack sufficient sample sizes to estimate which milestones are more plastic with higher inter-individual variation in the timing of their emergence. Here, we describe the emergence of gross motor, fine motor, social interaction and communication traits from a longitudinal sample of 19 wild chimpanzee infants (8 females and 11 males), Tai National Park, Cote d'Ivoire. Gross motor traits emerged at a mean of four months, communication traits at 12 months, social interaction traits at 14 months and fine motor traits at 15 months, with later emerging milestones demonstrating greater inter-individual variation in the timing of the emergence. This pattern of milestone emergence is broadly comparable to observations in humans, suggesting selection for a prolonged infantile phase and that sustained skills development has a deep evolutionary history, with implications for theories on primate brain development.
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References90
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#1Liran Samuni (Harvard University)H-Index: 1
#1Liran Samuni (Harvard University)H-Index: 10
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Background: In animals with altricial offspring, most growth occurs after birth and may be optimized by post-natal maternal care. Maternal effects on growth may be influenced by individual characteristics of the mothers, such as social status, individual investment strategies and the length of association with offspring. The prolonged juvenile dependence seen in humans is a distinctive life history adaptation, which may have evolved to facilitate sustained somatic and brain growth.In chimpanzees...
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#1Sean M. Lee (GW: George Washington University)H-Index: 1
#2Carson M. Murray (GW: George Washington University)H-Index: 20
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OBJECTIVES: Primates exhibit variation in rates of growth and development. Variation in female growth and development across ape species appears to be explained by the Ecological Risk Aversion Hypothesis (ERAH). Indeed, existing data on variation in somatic growth and reproductive maturation between humans' closest living ape relatives, bonobos and chimpanzees, appear to be consistent with this hypothesis. However, existing data on behavioral maturation between the two species appear to contradi...
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#2Linda Vigilant (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 49
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Humans are considered superior to other species in their tool using skills. However, most of our knowledge about animals comes from observations in artificial conditions with individuals removed from their natural environment. We present a first comparison of humans and chimpanzees spontaneously acquiring the same technique as they forage in their natural environment. We compared the acquisition of the Panda nut-cracking technique between Mbendjele foragers from the Republic of Congo and the Tai...
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#1Trine Flensborg-Madsen (UCPH: University of Copenhagen)H-Index: 14
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: Few studies have investigated associations of milestone development in early childhood with intelligence in adulthood in typically developing children. The current study is an extension of 2 previous studies on smaller samples and investigated associations of age at attainment of 32 developmental milestones attained between 0 and 3 years of age with adult intelligence and explored whether the effects of early infant milestones are mediated through later development during subsequent years. Mot...
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Savanna-mosaic habitats are thought to represent exceptional circumstances for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and owing to the virtues of their habitat as well as peripheral biogeographic location, they are often regarded as marginal to the chimpanzee ecological niche. If these habitats are marginal, then we should expect that chimpanzees living in these habitats demonstrate physiological consequences of the extremity of this environment. We therefore compared seasonal variation in physiological...
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: Infant gross motor development is vital to adaptive function and predictive of both cognitive outcomes and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, little is known about neural systems underlying the emergence of walking and general gross motor abilities. Using resting state fcMRI, we identified functional brain networks associated with walking and gross motor scores in a mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal cohort of infants at high and low risk for autism spectrum disorder, who represent a d...
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