International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 3–31

Influence of Ecological and Social Factors on Body Mass of Wild Chimpanzees

  • A. E. Pusey
  • G. W. Oehlert
  • J. M. Williams
  • J. Goodall

DOI: 10.1007/s10764-005-0721-2

Cite this article as:
Pusey, A.E., Oehlert, G.W., Williams, J.M. et al. Int J Primatol (2005) 26: 3. doi:10.1007/s10764-005-0721-2


The chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) of Gombe National Park, Tanzania, were weighed regularly over a period of 33 yr, resulting in 1286 measurements on 31 males and 26 females aged 2–43 yr. Female growth slowed at 10 yr and that of males at 13 yr. Median adult body mass is 39 kg for males and 31.3 kg for females. Body mass varied between years. Chimpanzees were heaviest during a period of frequent banana provisioning. They were also heavier when community range size was large and population density within the range was low. Chimpanzees were heavier in the wet than in the dry season and body mass tracked rainfall in the preceding mo except for May in which mass was anomalously low. Dominance rank is significantly correlated with body mass for females but not males. High-ranking individuals tended to maintain more stable mass. Variability in body mass was greater for young and old individuals than for prime adults.

Key words

Chimpanzee body mass growth sexual dimorphism pregnancy seasonal changes range size population density dominance rank 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. E. Pusey
    • 1
  • G. W. Oehlert
    • 2
  • J. M. Williams
    • 3
  • J. Goodall
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Evolution and BehaviorUniversity of MinnesotaSt. Paul
  2. 2.School of StatisticsUniversity of MinnesotaU.S.A.
  3. 3.Jane Goodall Institute’s Center for Primate StudiesUniversity of MinnesotaU.S.A.
  4. 4.Jane Goodall InstituteSilver Spring