As a female backs up to this mandrill alpha male to present herself, he bows his head and draws back the corners of the mouth, exposing his canines. Earlier researchers interpreted this snarl-like expression as a threat. However, it turns out, that this is actually a gesture mostly used to welcome socialising, like the smile of the black crested macaque. The ‘bared-teeth display’ in mandrills is often followed by grooming, mating or play. Gabon.
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