Facial complexity in sun bears: exact facial mimicry and social sensitivity
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Facial mimicry is a central feature of human social interactions. Although it has been evidenced in other mammals, no study has yet shown that this phenomenon can reach the level of precision seem in humans and gorillas. Here, we studied the facial complexity of group-housed sun bears, a typically solitary species, with special focus on testing for exact facial mimicry. Our results provided evidence that the bears have the ability to mimic the expressions of their conspecifics and that they do so by matching the exact facial variants they interact with. In addition, the data showed the bears produced the open-mouth faces predominantly when they received the recipient’s attention, suggesting a degree of social sensitivity. Our finding questions the relationship between communicative complexity and social complexity, and suggests the possibility that the capacity for complex facial communication is phylogenetically more widespread than previously thought.
|Publication status||Published - 21 Mar 2019|
- Facial Complexity in Sun Bears
Final published version, 1 MB, PDF document
Licence: CC BY