Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male chimpanzees choose their allies carefully

Date:
December 3, 2012
Source:
Springer
Summary:
The ability of male chimpanzees to form coalitions with one another in order to direct aggression at other male chimpanzees has certain benefits. A new study has further revealed that it may not just be the coalition that is important, but who the coalition is with that determines future success.

A new study finds that male chimpanzees with central positions in the coalitionary network were most likely to father offspring and increase in rank. Specifically, those who formed coalitions with males who did not form coalitions with each other were the most successful.
Credit: aieditor / Fotolia

The ability of male chimpanzees to form coalitions with one another in order to direct aggression at other male chimpanzees has certain benefits. A new study by Ian Gilby at Duke University in North Carolina and his colleagues has further revealed that it may not just be the coalition that is important, but who the coalition is with that determines future success.

Their study finds that male chimpanzees with central positions in the coalitionary network were most likely to father offspring and increase in rank. Specifically, those who formed coalitions with males who did not form coalitions with each other were the most successful. Their work is published in the Springer journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Coalitionary aggression is when at least two individuals jointly direct aggression at one or more targets. Aggression and coalition formation between males is important for attaining a higher dominance in many animal species. The most dominant males are more likely to mate and therefore, sire offspring. Males with high coalition rates are more likely to mate more often than expected for their rank.

Gilby and his colleagues studied data from wild chimpanzees gathered over 14 years from the Kasekela community in Gombe National Park in Tanzania. They wanted to test the hypothesis that male coalitionary aggression leads to positive benefits via increased dominance rank and improved reproductive success. Of the four measures they used to characterize a male's coalitionary behavior, the only one that was related to both of these factors was 'betweenness' -- a measure of social network centrality -- which reflects the tendency to make coalitions with other males who did not form coalitions with each other. The only non-alpha males to sire offspring were males that had the highest 'betweenness' scores. These males were also more likely to increase in rank, which is associated with higher reproductive success.

The researchers postulate that this shows that male chimpanzees may recognize the value of making the 'right' social connections. By choosing their coalition partners carefully, they are demonstrating an ability to recognize the relationships of others.

The authors conclude that "…our data suggest that there are consequences to the recognition of third party relationships. As such, it represents an important step toward a more complete understanding of the adaptive value of social intelligence and the evolution of co-operation." They add that further observation is required to fully explain the study's findings.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ian C. Gilby, Lauren J. N. Brent, Emily E. Wroblewski, Rebecca S. Rudicell, Beatrice H. Hahn, Jane Goodall, Anne E. Pusey. Fitness benefits of coalitionary aggression in male chimpanzees. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s00265-012-1457-6

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Male chimpanzees choose their allies carefully." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203112810.htm>.
Springer. (2012, December 3). Male chimpanzees choose their allies carefully. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203112810.htm
Springer. "Male chimpanzees choose their allies carefully." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203112810.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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