Bonobos use an extensive repertoire of gestures to influence the behavior of their fellow apes. We can observe the gestures bonobos use, who they direct their gestures towards and sometimes even deduce what the goal behind the gesture was. We call that goal the "apparently satisfactory outcome"- it's the behavior that "satisfies" the signaler in that communication ceases after the behavior has occurred.
Gestures tend to be used for the same outcomes in spite of who the signaler is. For example, the gesture "stomp" tends to be used to mean "follow me". However, not all bonobos use the same gestures nor do they have the same goals when interacting with their fellow bonobos.
It turns out that social relationships influence gestural communication. For example, asking the recipient to “groom me” through the use of gestures is almost exclusively done by the higher-ranking individual within a dyad whereas the lower-ranking bonobo will only offer grooming (“groom you”) and never demand grooming in return. These findings indicate that gestural communication may provide bonobos with a tool for managing multiple relationships.
Dance your Ph.D. contest: http://gonzolabs.org/dance/
University profile page: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/psychology/people/pgprofiles/eo222/
Music: Maple Leaf Rag performed by Scott Joplin
Free Music Archive, http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Joplin/Frog_Legs_Ragtime_Era_Favorites/03_-_scott_joplin_-_maple_leaf_rag
A very big thank you to Stacey and Ali for their goofy and lovely contributions!