Adult male chimpanzees remain faithful to area they grew up with their mothers

December 28th, 2007 - 1:04 pm ICT by admin  


Washington, Dec 28 (ANI): Adult male chimpanzees do not wander off from home, when it comes to choosing a place to live, says a new study.

The study, led by Anne Pusey of the University of Minnesota, found that adult male chimps out on their own tend to follow in their mothers footsteps, spending their days in the same familiar haunts where they grew up.

The researchers said that male chimpanzees are generally very social, but how they use space when they are alone might be critical to their survival.

We have found that, like females, male chimpanzees have distinct core areas in which they forage alone and to which they show levels of site fidelity equal to those of females, Pusey said.

Moreover, males remain faithful to the area in which they grew up with their mother, even 20 years after she has died. Even alpha males, who could presumably compete successfully to forage in the most productive areas, instead continue to forage in the areas in which they grew up, even in cases where this area is of poor quality, she added.

In the study, the team analysed space use of male chimpanzees living in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, over four years. They compared the males ranges to those in which their mothers had travelled in years past.

Our study shows that male site fidelity persists for years after the mother has died and probably for the whole life of the male, Pusey said.

The scientists suspected that sticking to places the chimps know well might give chimpanzees an advantage when searching for food.

Pusey said that the findings suggest that, even for males, the need to eat can sometimes trump sex, because males reproductive success depends on the number of females they can fertilize.

The study is published in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. (ANI)

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