Gupta, S., Sinha, A. 2019. Gestural communication of wild bonnet macaques in the Bandipur National Park, Southern India. Behavioural Processes 168, 103956.
Nonhuman primate gestures are believed to be crucial evolutionary precursors of human language. Comparative studies on primate gestures in an evolutionary framework have, however, remained largely restricted to the great apes and the potential flexibility and richness of gestural communication in monkeys, especially in the wild, continue to be virtually unknown. In this paper, we followed several criteria, adapted from ape gesture studies, to identify gestures and evaluate their contexts of usage in the repertoire of wild bonnet macaques Macaca radiata in the Bandipur National Park of southern India. This report is the first of its kind to systematically identify gestures in any wild, non-ape species, thus providing a platform for comparative studies across primate taxa, particularly in our efforts to trace out the phylogenetic origins of language-like markers in the primate lineage, earlier than in the great apes.