CZAAWE Resource Article

Hand Preference for Food Processing in Wild Western Lowland Gorillas
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
2001
Authors 
Publication/Journal 
Journal of Comparative Psychology
ISBN 
0735-7036
Abstract 
Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) have not previously been represented in studies of laterality in wild great apes. The discovery of swampy clearings frequented by gorillas in northern Congo has provided the first opportunity to redress this imbalance. Hand preference data are presented from 33 gorillas in seated and standing postures, covering the procurement and processing of 2 to 4 plant species. Levels of hand preference exhibited were low. When data from all postures and plant species were pooled, 33% of gorillas showed hand preferences in excess of chance. In the standing posture, more gorillas exhibited significant left-hand preferences than right, but an overall population-level bias was not evident.