Selected Publications


Wilke, C., Lahiff, N.J., Badihi, G., Donnellan, E., Hobaiter, C., Machanda, Z.P., Mundry, R., Pika, S., Soldati, A., Wrangham, R.W., Zuberbühler, K., Slocombe, K.E. (2022). Referential gestures are not ubiquitous in wild chimpanzees: alternative functions for exaggerated loud scratch gestures. Animal Behaviour, Vol. 198, July 2022, 23-45. pdf

Schel, A.M., Bono, A., Aychet, J., Pika, S., Lemasson, A. (2022). Intentional gestural communication in red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus). Animal Cognition, 1 April 2022, Vol. 25, 2. pdf

Mascaro, A., Southern, L., Deschner, T., Pika, S. (2022). Application of insects to wounds of self and others by chimpanzees in the wild. Current Biology, 7 February 2022, Vol. 32, 3, 112-113.


Southern Lara M., Deschner, T., Pika, S. (2021). Lethal coalitionary attacks of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) on gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) in the wild. Scientific Reports, 19 July 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-93829-x. pdf

Pika, S., Sima, M., Blum, Chr. (2021). How do ravens' thinking skills compare with apes? Science Journal for Kids. pdf

Klein, H., Bocksberger, G., Baas, P., Bunel, S., Théleste, E., Pika, S., Deschner, T. (2021). Hunting of mammals by central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in the Loango National Park, Gabon. Primates (62) 267-278 (2021). doi:10.1007/s10329-020-00885-4. pdf



Pika, S., Klein, H., Bunel, S., Baas, P., Erwan T., Deschner, T. (2020). Des chimpanzés sauvages (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) exploitent des tortues (Kinixys erosa) via une technique percussive. Revue de Primatologie. doi:10.4000/primatologie.8467. pdf

Pika, S., Sima, M., Blum, C., Herrmann, E., Mundry, R. (2020). Ravens parallel great apes in physical and social cognitive skills. Scientific Reports, 10, 20617 (2020). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-77060-8. pdf

Bräuer, J., Hanus, D., Pika, S., Grey, R., Uomini, N. (2020). Old and New Approaches to Animal Cognition: There Is Not “One Cognition”. Journal of Intelligence, 2020, 8 (3), 28. doi:10.3390/jintelligence8030028. pdf

Boesch, C., Kalan A., Kühl, H. et al. (2020). Chimpanzee ethnography reveals unexpected cultural diversity. Nature Human Behaviour,  volume 4, 910–916 (2020). doi:10.1038/s41562-020-0890-1. pdf

Fröhlich, M., Müller G., Zeiträg, C., Wittig, M., Pika, S. (2020). Begging and social tolerance: Food solicitation tactics in young chimpanzees (Pan troglogdytes) in the wild. Evolution and Human Behaviour, 41(2), 126-135 (2020). doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2019.11.002.

Luef, E., Ter Maat, A., Jäger, M., Pika, S. (2020). The 'culture of two': Communication in ravens' (Corvus corax) nonvocal signaling. Journal of Language Evolution, 2020, 1-16. doi:10.1093/jole/lzz008. pdf


Pika, S., Deschner, T. (2019). A new window onto animal culture: The case of chimpanzee gesturing. Anthropology of Gesture, 18(2-3), 237-258. doi:10.1075/gest.19012.pik

Luef, E., Pika, S. (2019). Social relationships and greetings in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): use of signal combinations. Primates, 60, 507-515 (2019). doi:10.1007/s10329-019-00758-5. pdf

Pika, S., Klein, H., Bunel, S., Baas, P., Théleste, E., Deschner, T. (2019). Wild chimpanzees
(Pan troglodytes troglodytes) exploit tortoises (Kinixys erosa) via percussive technology.
Scientific Reports, 9 (1), 7661 (2019). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-43301-8. pdf  videos

Ben Mocha, Y., Mundry, R., Pika, S. (2019). Joint attention skills in wild Arabian babblers
(Turdoides squamiceps): a consequence of cooperative breeding? Proceedings of the Royal
B, 286 (1900), 20190147. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.0147. pdf

Ben Mocha, Y., Pika, S. (2019). Intentional presentation of objects in cooperatively
breeding Arabian babblers (Turdoides squamiceps). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 7. doi:10.3389/fevo.2019.00087 pdf

Fröhlich, M., Wittig, R. M., Pika, S. (2019). The ontogeny of intentional communication in
chimpanzees in the wild. Developmental Science, 22 (1). doi:10.1111/desc.12716. pdf


Ben Mocha, Y., Mundry, R., Pika, S. (2018). Why hide? Concealed sex in dominant Arabian babblers (Turdoides squamiceps) in the wild. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39 (6), 575-582. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.05.009. pdf

Fröhlich, M., Wittig, R. M., Pika, S. (2018). The ontogeny of intentional communication in chimpanzees in the wild. Developmental Science, 22 (1). doi:10.1111/desc.12716. pdf

Nicoladis, E., Marentette, P., Pika, S., Barbosa, P. G. (2018). Young children show little sensitivity to the iconicity in number gestures. Language Learning and Development, 14, 297-319. doi:10.1080/15475441.2018.1444486. abstract

Pika S., Wilkinson R., Kendrick K. H., Vernes S. C. (2018). Taking turns: Bridging the gap between human and animal communication. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Science, 285, 9. doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.0598pdf

Pika, S., Fröhlich, M. (2018). Gestural acquisition in great apes: The Social Negotiation Hypothesis. Animal Cognition, 22 (4), 551-565. doi:10.1007/s10071-017-1159-6. pdf

Prieur, J., Pika, S., Blois-Heulin, C., Barbu, S. (2018). Captive chimpanzees' manual laterality in captive chimpanzees in the context of tool use: Influence of communication and of sociodemographic factors. Behavioural Processes, 157, 610-624. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2018.04.009.

Prieur, J., Pika, S., Barbu, S., Blois-Heulin, C. (2018). Do mechanical effectiveness and recipient species influence intentional signal laterality in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)? International Journal of Primatology, 39(6), 1-31. doi:10.1007/s10764-018-0054-6.

Prieur, J., Pika, S., Blois-Heulin, C., Barbu, S. (2018). A multifactorial investigation of captive gorillas’ intraspecific gestural laterality. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 23 (5), 538-575. doi:10.1080/1357650X.2017.1410167.

Prieur, J., Pika, S., Blois-Heulin, C., Barbu, S. (2018). Captive chimpanzees’ manual laterality in tool use context: Influence of communication and of sociodemographic factors. Behavioural Processes, 157, 610-624. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2018.04.009.



Fröhlich, M., Müller, G., Zeiträg, C., Wittig, R.M., Pika, S. (2017). Gestural development of chimpanzees in the wild: The impact of interactional experience. Animal Behaviour, 134, 271-282. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.12.018.

Luef, E. M., Pika, S. (2017). Reciprocal greeting in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at the Ngogo community. Journal of Neurolinguistics 43, 263-273. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroling.2016.11.002.

Pika, S. (2017). Unpeeling the layers of communicative complexity. Animal Behaviour 134, 223-227. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.07.002.

Prieur, J., Barbu, S., Blois-Heulin, C., Pika, S. (2017). Captive gorillas’ manual laterality: The impact of gestures, manipulators and interaction specificity. Brain and Language, 175, 130-145. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2017.10.001.

Prieur, J., Pika, S., Barbu, S., Blois-Heulin, C. (2017). Intraspecific gestural laterality in chimpanzees and gorillas and the impact of social propensities. Brain Research 1670, 52-67. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2017.05.033.

Sima, M. J., Matzinger, T., Bugnyar, T., Pika, S. (2017). Reconciliation and third-party affiliation in carrion crows. Ethology, 124, 33–44. doi:10.1111/eth.12699.


Pika, S. (2016). Response to: Commentary: The use of referential gestures in ravens (Corvus corax) in the wild. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4, 4. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00113.

Fröhlich, M., Wittig, R. M., Pika, S. (2016). Play-solicitation gestures in chimpanzees in the wild: Flexible adjustment to social circumstances and individual matrices. Royal Society Open Science 3, 160278. doi:10.1098/rsos.160278.

Fröhlich, M., Kuchenbuch, P., Müller, G., Fruth, B., Furuichi, T., Wittig, R. M., Pika, S. (2016). Unpeeling the layers of language: Bonobos and chimpanzees engage in cooperative turn-taking sequences. Scientific Reports 6, 25887. pdf

Fröhlich, M., Wittig, R. M., Pika, S. (2016). ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ Initiation of joint travel in mother-infant dyads of two chimpanzee communities in the wild. Animal Cognition 19, 483-500. doi:10.1007/s10071-015-0948-z.

Luef, E. M., Breuer, T., Pika, S. (2016). Food-associated calling in gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla) in the wild. PlosOne 11, e0144197. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144197.

Prieur, J., Pika, S., Barbu, S., Blois-Heulin, C. (2016). Gorillas are right-handed for their most frequent intraspecific gestures. Animal Behaviour 118, 165-170. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.06.008.

Prieur, J., Pika, S., Barbu, S., Blois-Heulin, C. (2016). A multifactorial investigation of captive chimpanzees' intraspecific gestural laterality. Animal Behaviour 116, 31-43. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.03.024.

Sima, M. J., Pika, S., Bugnyar, T. (2016). Experimental manipulation of food accessibility affects conflict behaviour in ravens. Ethology, 2, 114-126. doi:10.1111/eth.12451.

Before 2016

Pika, S., Liebal, K. (2012). Developments in Primate Gesture Research. (p. 256). Amsterdam, John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi:10.1075/gs.6.

Pika, S. (2012). The case of referential gestural signaling. Where next? Communicative & Integrative Biology 5, 578-582. doi:10.4161/cib.22012.

Clay, Z., Pika, S., Gruber, T., Zuberbühler, K. (2011). Female bonobos use copulation calls as social signals. Biology Letters 7, 513-516.

Pika, S., Bugnyar, T. (2011). The use of referential gestures in ravens (Corvus corax) in the wild. Nature Communications 2, 1-5. doi:10.1038/ncomms1567.

Nicoladis, E., Pika, S., Marentette, P. (2010). Are number gestures easier than number words for preschoolers? Cognitive Development 25, 247-261. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2010.04.001.

Nicoladis, E., Pika, S., Marentette, P. (2009). Do French-English bilingual children gesture more than monolingual children? Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 38, 573-585. doi:10.1007/s10936-009-9121-7.

Pika, S., Nicoladis, E., Marentette, P. (2009). How to order a beer? Cultural differences in the use of conventional gestures for numerals. Journal for Cross-Cultural Psychology 40, 70-80. doi:10.1177/0022022108326197.

Pika, S. (2009). Our grooming cousins: Providing the link to declarative signalling? Studies in Communication Sciences 9, 73-102. doi:10.5169/seals-791039.

Arbib, M.A., Liebal, K., Pika, S. (2008). Primate vocalization, gesture, and the evolution of human language. Current Anthropology 49, 1053-1076. doi:10.1086/593015.

Pika, S., Zuberbühler, K. (2008). Social games between bonobos and humans: Evidence for shared intentionality? American Journal of Primatology 70, 207-210. doi:10.1002/ajp.20469.

Pika, S. (2008). Gestures of apes and pre-linguistic human children: Similar or different? First Language 28, 116-140. doi:10.1177/0142723707080966.

Nicoladis, E., Pika, S., Yin, H., Marentette, P.F. (2007). Gesture use in story recall by Chinese-English bilinguals. Applied Psycholinguistics 28, 719-733. doi:10.1017/S0142716407070385.

Liebal, K., Müller, C., Pika, S. (2007). Gestural communication in nonhuman and human primates. (p. 284). Amsterdam, Philadelphia, John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi:10.1075/gest.5.1-2.

Liebal, K., Pika, S., Tomasello, M. (2006). Gestural communication of orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). Gesture 6, 1-38. doi:10.1075/gest.6.1.02lie.

Pika, S., Nicoladis, E., Marentette, P.F. (2006). A cross-cultural study on the use of gestures: Evidence for cross-linguistic transfer? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 9, 319-327. doi:10.1017/S1366728906002665.

Pika, S., Mitani, J.C. (2006). Referential gestural communication in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Current Biology 16, R191-R192. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.02.037.

Pika, S., Liebal, K., Tomasello, M. (2005). Gestural communication in subadult bonobos (Pan paniscus): Gestural repertoire and use. American Journal of Primatology 65, 39-51. doi:10.1002/ajp.20096.

Pika, S., Liebal, K., Call, J., Tomasello, M. (2005). The gestural communication of apes. Gesture 5, 41-56. doi:10.1075/gest.5.1.05pik.

Liebal, K., Pika, S., Tomasello, M. (2004). Social communication in siamangs (Symphalangus Syndactulus): Use of gestures and facial expression. Primates 45, 41-57. doi:10.1007/s10329-003-0063-7.

Liebal, K., Pika, S., Call, J., Tomasello, M. (2004). To move or not to move. How apes adjust to the attentional state of others. Interaction Studies 5, 199-219. doi:10.1075/is.5.2.03lie.

Pika, S., Liebal, K., Tomasello, M. (2003). Gestural communication in young gorillas (Gorilla gorilla): Gestural repertoire, learning and use. American Journal of Primatology 60, 95-111. doi:10.1002/ajp.10097.

Pika, S., Tomasello, M. (2001). 'Separating the wheat from the chaff': A novel food processing technique in captive gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla). Primates 42, 167-170. doi:10.1007/BF02558144.