April 28, 2018 - Although nonhuman primates live in stable social groups, they do not interact at random with other group members. They groom, vocalize, and form alliances with specific individuals in predictable ways. These patterns are clear to a human observer, but what do the animals know about the relationships and networks in their society? Field experiments on baboons reveal a sophisticated knowledge of other animals’ kinship and hierarchical rank relations – knowledge that could only be acquired by observing others and making the appropriate deductions. Long-term data suggest why natural selection has favored social cognition: survival and reproduction depend on an individual’s skill in forming social bonds. Field studies of primates provide clues about the selective factors that gave rise to human cognition. Seyfarth represents Class V.