Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wild Male Chimpanzees Use Stolen Food To Win Over The Opposite Sex

Date:
September 14, 2007
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and the same could be said for female chimpanzees. Researchers studying wild chimps in West Africa have discovered that males pinch desirable fruits from local farms and orchards as a means of attracting female mates.

They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and the same could be said for female chimpanzees. Researchers studying wild chimps in West Africa have discovered that males pinch desirable fruits from local farms and orchards as a means of attracting female mates.

Related Articles


Lead researcher, Dr Kimberley Hockings from the University of Stirling's Department of Psychology said: "We believe the males may be using crop-raids as a way to advertise their prowess to other group-members, especially the opposite sex. Such daring behaviour certainly seems to be an attractive trait and possessing a sought-after food item, such as papaya, appears to draw even more positive attention from the females."

The study, which took place in the West African village of Bossou in the Republic of Guinea, is the only recorded example of regular sharing of plant foods by unrelated, non-provisioned wild chimpanzees.

Dr Hockings explained: "It is unusual behaviour as even though the major part of chimpanzees' diets consists of plant foods, wild plant food sharing (defined as an individual holding a food item but allowing another individual to consume part of that item) occurs infrequently. However, in chimpanzee communities that engage in hunting, meat is frequently used as a 'social tool' for nurturing alliances and social bonds.

This research shows that chimpanzees at Bossou use crop-raiding as an opportunity to obtain and share desirable foods, providing further insights into the evolutionary basis of human food sharing. In humans, the pursuit of certain foods is also strongly sex-biased; for example, it has been proposed that men in hunter-gatherer societies acquire large and risky-to-obtain food packages for social strategising and to garner attention."

The researchers found that adult males mainly shared the spoils of their crop-raids with females of reproductive age; particularly with a female within the group who took part in most consortships (where an adult female and an adult male chimpanzee move to the periphery of their community so that the male gains exclusive mating access).

Dr Hockings said: "The male who shared the most food with this female engaged in more consortships with her and received more grooming from her than the other males, even the alpha male. Therefore the male chimpanzees appear to be 'showing off' and trading their forbidden fruit for other currencies, i.e. 'food-for-sex and --grooming'."

The study is published in the September 12 issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS One.

The study was carried out by the following researchers: Kimberley J. Hockings (University of Stirling), Tatyana Humle (University of Wisconsin-Madison), James R. Anderson (University of Stirling), Dora Biro (University Of Oxford), Claudia Sousa (New University of Lisbon), Gaku Ohashi (Kyoto University) and Tetsuro Matsuzawa (Kyoto University).

About wild chimpanzees

Wild chimpanzees have declined by more than 66% over the last 30 years, to a mere 200,000. Although the chimpanzees of Bossou are fortunate enough to be afforded a degree of protection and tolerance by local Manon people, other chimpanzee communities throughout Africa are not so privileged. Chimpanzees and other non-human primates are threatened by an intricate web of factors including unrelenting deforestation and fragmentation, poaching, disease, and capture for the pet trade, all of which threaten their long-term survival in the wild. These are human problems, the solutions to which will benefit both people and chimpanzees.

Cultivated plant foods are shared much more frequently than wild plant foods at Bossou, even though adult male chimpanzees often appear nervous when raiding crops (rough scratching, a self-directed behavioural pattern shown in response to anxiety, was used to quantify levels of anxiety). The shared cultivated fruits are usually large and easily divisible, and adult males are most likely to share such foods obtained in exposed locations and in the presence of local people (which is also associated with increased levels of anxiety).

Citation: Hockings KJ, Humle T, Anderson JR, Biro D, Sousa C, et al (2007) Chimpanzees Share Forbidden Fruit. PLoS ONE 2(9): e886. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000886


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Wild Male Chimpanzees Use Stolen Food To Win Over The Opposite Sex." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911202510.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2007, September 14). Wild Male Chimpanzees Use Stolen Food To Win Over The Opposite Sex. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911202510.htm
Public Library of Science. "Wild Male Chimpanzees Use Stolen Food To Win Over The Opposite Sex." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911202510.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins