Visual Communication


reclining: This is when one individual will lay down, on the side or prone, oriented towards a group member, with the head or back facing the group member (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an invitation to groom posture, used to communicate that one individual wishes to be groomed by another, and this is the most common invitation to groom posture used by the talapoin monkey (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). If the other individual does not start grooming immediately, the one performing the gesture will rise and repeat the posture until grooming starts (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

sitting, head down: This is where one individual sits facing another conspecific with the head lowered which exposes the back of the head or the neck to the other individual (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an invitation to groom posture used to elicit grooming by one individual from another (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

sitting, chest forward: This is where one individual will face another with the elbows drawn back, the head tilted back, and the chest thrust forward (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an invitation to groom posture and the groomer will usually groom the exposed ventrum (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

sitting, elbow up: This is where one individual will sit with the side facing another, the elbow raised up, and leaning sideways at about a 45 degree angle (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an invitation to groom posture (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

standing, head down: This is where one individual will stand facing another with the head lowered, sometimes so much that the chin is resting on the ground (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an invitation to groom posture which resembles sitting, head down (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

standing, stiff legged: This is where one individual is standing stiff legged with the tail over the back and the rump facing another group member (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an invitation to groom posture that is only seen in juveniles, and the groomer grooms the perineal and rump areas of the groomee (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

squat present: This is where one individual will squat in the heel sit posture with the rump facing another individual with the head turned looking at the individual (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This posture is performed by females and it is directed towards males (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an invitation to mount posture and the female does during courtship, and this lasts for a few seconds then if the male does not mount the female, she will turn around, look at him, then resume squat present (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

stiff legged present: This posture is the same as standing, stiff legged (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The only difference is that the individual performing the behavior will look at the receiver (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is an invitation to mount posture that is used by adult males, but not used by adult females seeking copulations (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

open mouth: This is where the mouth is widely opened and the lips are retracted so that the teeth are exposed (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The eyes are wide open and staring at the stimulus, and during this behavior the upper body is moved in what is described as a quick and forceful way (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is a threat gesture seen before an attack, chase, or bite (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

open mouth grin: This differs from open mouth in that the corners of the mouth are drawn back, thus the mouth is not open fully, and the upper teeth are not as exposed but the lower teeth still are exposed (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The eyes are widely opened staring at the receiver of this behavioral pattern (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is found during aggressive situations and is often found with screech and with pant chirps during mobbing attacks (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). Dixson et al.threat face.

clenched teeth grin: This is where the corners of the mouth are drawn back exposing teeth which are clenched (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The eyes during this pattern are shut slightly and are not directed at the receiver of this behavior (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The head during this behavior is positioned upright or slightly tipped back (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This behavior occurs with the cringe posture and is seen in situations of high tension, such as a tentative approach and attempting to mount an aggressive individual (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). Dixson et al. (1975) refer to this behavior as the grin face.

closed lips grin: In this behavior the corners of the mouth are drawn back and the lips are pursed so that the teeth are covered (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The head during this behavior is held up and sometimes tipped back (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The eyebrows are raised, the ears are flattened against the head and the corners of eyes are drawn back during this pattern (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is a pattern communicated suppressed panic and surprise, and glancing and fleeing may occur with this behavioral pattern (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

retracted lips grin: The lips are drawn back and rolled exposing the upper gums and teeth that are slightly parted (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This behavioral pattern is seen during mounting, both by the mounter and the mountee (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

yawn: This behavior is done during sitting and eye blinking occurs with it, and many yawns may be done in succession (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). During this behavior the tongue is protruded and the tongue is often rolled (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). Between yawns the mouth makes chewing movements (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This behavior is seen during episodes of great tension and males tend to yawn more than females (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). The yawns are not directed at any other conspecifics (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

play face: This is like open mouth but the head is tilted to one side and the eyelids are relaxed or are squinting (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This behavior may be seen before initiating play with other group members (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

lipsmack: During this behavior the lips are opened and closed rapidly and the lips briefly touch (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This behavior is seen during grooming and is performed by the groomer (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This is also seen during rough grooming or during a fight and lipsmack may be accompanied by eyebrows up and ears back and by open mouth (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

staring: This display by the talapoin monkey is used as a threat display (Estes, 1991). The eyes are fixed on the stimulus and the eyebrows are raised and the scalp is retracted, the facial skin is also stretched by moving the ears back (Estes, 1991). Underneath the eye lids the color is different which contrasts sharply with the surrounding facial color (Estes, 1991). During this display the mouth remains closed and the head is thrust forward if this behavior is given in an upright sitting posture (Dixson et al., 1975). This behavioral pattern often occurs with open mouth grin (Dixson et al., 1975). Dixson et al. (1975) refer to this display as aggressive stare.

eyebrows up and ears back: In this display the eyebrows are raised up, eyes are open wide, and the ears are flattened against the head (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). During this pattern the scalp is moved backwards (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). When the head is forward or tipped down this behavior is a mild threat display (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). When the head is up or tipped back this is a fear or appeasement signal and is accompanied by closed lips grin or looking away (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

looking away: This is when the chin is lifted and the head is lifted upward and/or turning the face away from individual that is looking at the individual looking away (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). This pattern is often done after open mouth or staring (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). High ranking individuals do this to lower ranking individuals upon approaching them; this seems to calm the lower ranking individual down (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

head-bobbing: This is used as a threat display by the talapoin monkey and head bobs up and down (Estes, 1991). This often occurs with staring with open mouth (Estes, 1991).

visual inspection:This is where a male will look at the females' perineum especially when it is swollen during estrus (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972). When the female squat presents in front of the male he will lift her tail and push it aside while performing this behavior (Wolfheim and Rowell, 1972).

Last Updated: June 4, 2007.
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