Citation Parnell RJ & Buchanan-Smith HM (2001) Animal behaviour - An unusual social display by gorillas. Nature, 412 (6844), pp. 294-294. https://doi.org/10.1038/35085631
Abstract We have observed wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) using water to generate spectacular 'splash displays'. Most of these displays were made by silverbacks in an agonistic context, and we propose that they are primarily linked to the intimidation of potential rivals for female acquisition. This unusual behaviour may have developed only in gorillas that visit open swampland, where visibility greatly exceeds that encountered in the forest and highly visual, long-distance displays are therefore of value.