Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bonobos' unusual success story

Date:
January 23, 2012
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Bonobos are among the closest living relatives of humans. Like other great apes they live in groups made up of several males and females. Unlike other ape species however, male bonobos do not, in general, outrank female individuals and do not dominate them in mating contexts. Scientists have now found that in wild bonobos high-ranking males were more aggressive and their mating success was higher when compared to lower-ranking males.

Bonobos grooming each other in Lui Kotale, Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Credit: Copyright Caroline Deimel/Lui Kotale Bonobo Project

Bonobos are among the closest living relatives of humans. Like other great apes they live in groups made up of several males and females. Contrary to other ape species however, male bonobos do not, in general, outrank female individuals and do not dominate them in mating contexts.

Related Articles


This constellation suggests that the selection for typically masculine behavioral patterns like aggression, dominance and intrasexual competition are met with antagonistic forces: On one hand it is advantageous if a male outcompetes a fellow male. This, however, implies that there is increased aggression and an elevated level of testosterone in high-ranking males. On the other hand – as dominance relations between the sexes are rather balanced in bonobos – it is likely that males benefit from having friendly pair-relationships with female individuals. Studies with birds and rodents show that a tendency towards forming pair-relationships correlates with lower male aggression rates and testosterone levels.

In a current study, Martin Surbeck, Gottfried Hohmann, Tobias Deschner and colleagues of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, found that in wild bonobos high-ranking males were more aggressive and their mating success was higher when compared to lower-ranking males. Contrary to other species in which males compete fiercely over access to females, there was no correlation between dominance status or aggression with testosterone levels. In addition, the researchers found that high-ranking males invested more often than lower-ranking group members into friendly relationships with females. This suggests that these friendly relationships between the sexes are associated with lower male testosterone levels.

“Our study suggests that in bonobos – as in in humans – intersexual friendships result in hormonal patterns that we know from species in which male individuals are actively participating in raising their young and in which the two sexes enter lasting pair-relationships“, says Martin Surbeck.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Martin Surbeck, Tobias Deschner, Grit Schubert, Anja Weltring, Gottfried Hohmann. Mate competition, testosterone and intersexual relationships in bonobos, Pan paniscus. Animal Behaviour, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.12.010

Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Bonobos' unusual success story." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123101827.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2012, January 23). Bonobos' unusual success story. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123101827.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Bonobos' unusual success story." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123101827.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) The Australian Museum has taken in its fourth-ever goblin shark, a rare fish with an electricity-sensing snout and &apos;alien-like&apos; jaw. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) takes a look. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) A newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise, protecting against diabetes and weight gain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) Britain&apos;s Prince William pledges to unite against illegal wildlife trade on the final day of his visit to China. Rough cut - no reporter narration Video provided by Reuters
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