, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 91–99 | Cite as

Association and social interactions between strangers and residents in bonobos (Pan paniscus)

  • Gottfried Hohmann
Short Communication


This study reports on close spatial association and repeated behavioural interactions between two strange adult male bonobos with residents of another community. Over a period of 12 months one of the two males developed friendly social relations to some of the females and other residents, which were indistinguishable from those existing between co-residents. Aggression by resident males against the strangers decreased but the former remained intolerant. The strange males appeared at a time when the number of adult resident males was lower as in the years before and when the adult sex ratio (number of adult females per male) was higher as in the years before. Using definitions from studies on dispersal patterns of male gorillas (Harcourt, 1978) and female bonobos (Furuichi, 1989) the spatial association between the two strange males and residents could be described as male transfer.

Key Words

Bonobo Pan paniscus Inter-community relations Transfer 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alberts, S. C.;Altmann, J. 1994. Balancing costs and opportunities: dispersal in male baboons.Amer. Naturalist, 145: 279–306.Google Scholar
  2. Badrian, A.;Badrian, N. 1984. Social organization ofPan paniscus in the Lomako forest, Zaire. In:The Pygmy Chimpanzee: Evolutionary Biology and Behavior,Susman,L. S. (ed.), Plenum Press, New York, pp. 325–346.Google Scholar
  3. Cheney, D. L.;Seyfarth, R. M. 1983. Non-random dispersal in free-ranging vervet monkeys: social and genetic consequences.Amer. Naturalist, 122: 392–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Erkisson, J. 1999. A survey of the forest and census of the bonobo (Pan paniscus) population between the Lomako and Yekokora Rivers in the Equateur Province, DR Congo. M.S. thesis, Univ. of Uppsala, Sweden.Google Scholar
  5. Fisher, R. A. 1930.The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  6. Furuichi, T. 1989. Social interactions and the life history of femalePan paniscus in Wamba, Zaire.Int. J. Primatol., 10: 173–197.Google Scholar
  7. Furuichi, T.;Idani, G.;Ihobe, H.;Kuroda, S.;Kitamura, K.;Mori, A.;Enomoto, T.;Okayasu, N.;Hashimoto, C.;Kano, T. 1999. Population dynamics of wild bonobos (Pan paniscus) at J. Primatol., 19: 1029–1043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Furuichi, T.;Ihobe, H. 1994. Variation in male relationships in bonobos and chimpanzees.Behaviour, 130: 211–228.Google Scholar
  9. Gerloff, U.;Hartung, B.;Fruth, B.;Hohmann, G.;Tautz D. 1999. Intracommunity relationships, dispersal pattern, and paternity success in a wild living community of bonobos (Pan paniscus) determined from DNA analysis of faecal samples.Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B266: 1189–1195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gerloff, U.;Schlotterer, C.;Rassmann, K.;Rambold, I.;Hohmann, G.;Fruth, B.;Tautz, D. 1995. Amplification of hypervariable simple sequence repeats (microsatellites) from excremental DNA of wild living bonobos (Pan paniscus).Mol. Ecol., 4: 515–518.Google Scholar
  11. Goodall, J. 1983. Population dynamics during a 15-year period in one community of free-living chimpanzees in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania.Z. Tierpsychol., 61: 1–60.Google Scholar
  12. Goodall, J. 1986.The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  13. Greenwood, P. J. 1980. Mating systems, philopatry, and dispersal in birds and mammals.Anim. Behav., 28: 1140–1162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harcourt, A. H. 1978. Strategies of emigration and transfer by primates, with particular reference to gorillas.Z. Tierpsychol., 48: 401–420.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hashimoto, C.;Furuichi, T.;Takenaka, O. 1996. Matrilineal kin relationship and social behavior of wild bonobos (Pan paniscus): sequencing the D-loop region of mitochondrial DNA.Primates, 37: 305–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Idani, G. 1990. Relations between unit-groups of bonobos at Wamba, Zaire: encounters and temporary fusions.Afr. Stud. Monogr., 11: 153–156.Google Scholar
  17. Idani, G. 1991. Social relationships between immigrant and resident bonobo (Pan paniscus) females at Wamba.Folia Primatol., 57: 83–95.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kano, T. 1992.The Last Ape: Pygmy Chimpanzee Behavior and Ecology. Stafford Univ. Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  19. Kuroda, S. 1980. Social behavior of the pygmy chimpanzees.Primates, 21: 181–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nishida, T.;Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, M. 1985. Responses to a stranger mother-son pair in the wild chimpanzee: a case report.Primates, 26: 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nishida, T.;Takasaki, H.;Takahata, Y. 1990. Demography and reproductive profiles. In:The Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains: Sexual and Life History Strategies,Nishida,T. (ed.), Univ. of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, pp. 63–97.Google Scholar
  22. Nunn, C. L. 1999. The number of males in primate social groups: a comparative test of the socioecological model.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 46: 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Packer, C. 1979. Inter-troop transfer and inbreeding avoidance inPapio anubis.Anim. Behav., 27: 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Palombit, R. 1994. Dynamic pair bonds in hylobatids: implications regarding monogamous social systems.Behaviour, 128: 65–101.Google Scholar
  25. Paul, A.;Kuester, J. 1985. Inter-group transfer and incest avoidance in semi-free-ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca-sylvanus) at Salem (FRG).Amer. J. Primatol., 8: 317–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pope, T. R. 2000. The evolution of male philopatry in neotropical monkeys. In:Primate Males,Kappeler,P. M. (ed.), Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, pp. 219–235.Google Scholar
  27. Pusey, A. E.;Packer, C. 1987. Dispersal and philopatry. In:Primate Societies,Smuts,B. B.;Cheney,D. L.;Seyfarth,R. M.;Wrangham,R. M.;Struhsaker,T. T. (eds.), Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 250–266.Google Scholar
  28. Reichard, U. 1995. Extra-pair copulations in a monogamous gibbon (Hylobates lar).Ethology, 6: 181–225.Google Scholar
  29. Robbins, M. M. 1995. A demographic analysis of male life history and social structure of mountain gorillas.Behaviour, 132: 21–47.Google Scholar
  30. Rowe, N. 1996.Pictural Guide to the Living Primates. Pogonias Press, East Hampton.Google Scholar
  31. Sigg, H.;Stolba, A.;Abegglen, J.-J.;Dasser, V. 1982. Life history of hamadryas baboons: physical development, infant mortalily, reproductive parameters, and family relationships.Primates, 23: 473–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sommer, V. 1988. Male competition and coalitions in langurs (Presbytis entellus) at Jodhpur, Rajastan, India.Human Evol., 3: 261–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Starin, E. D. 1994. Philopatry and affiliation among red colobus.Behaviour, 130: 257–268.Google Scholar
  34. Steward, K. J.;Harcourt, A. H. 1987. Gorillas: variation in female relationships. In:Primate Societies,Smuts,B. B.;Cheney,D. L.;Seyfarth,R. M.;Wrangham,R. M.;Struhsaker,T. T. (eds.), Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 155–164.Google Scholar
  35. Strier, K. B. 1993. Growing up in a patrifocal society: sex differences in the spatial relations of immature muriquis. In:Juvenile Primates: Life History, Development, and Behavior,Pereira,M. E.;Fairbanks,L. A. (eds.), Oxford Univ. Press, New York, pp. 138–147.Google Scholar
  36. Sugiyama, Y. 1999. Socioecological factors of male chimpanzee migration at Bossou, Guinea.Primates, 40: 61–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Symington, M. M. 1987. Predation and party size on the black spider monkey,Ateles paniscus chamek.Int. J. Primatol., 8: 534.Google Scholar
  38. Thompson-Handler, N. 1990. The pygmy chimpanzee: sociosexual behavior, reproductive biology, and life history patterns. Ph.D. thesis, Yale Univ., New Haven.Google Scholar
  39. Thompson-Handler, N.;Malenky, R. K. 1993.Action Plan for Pan paniscus:Report on Free Ranging Populations and Proposals for Their Preservation. SUNY at Stony Brook, New York.Google Scholar
  40. van Schaik, C. P. 1989. The ecology of social relationships amongst female primates. In:Comparative Socioecology,Standen,V.;Foley,R. A. (eds.), Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 195–218.Google Scholar
  41. Watts, D. P. (1989). Infanticide in mountain gorillas: new cases and a reconsideration of the evidence.Ethology, 81: 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. White, F. J. 1988. Party composition and dynamics inPan paniscus.Int. J. Primatol., 9: 179–193.Google Scholar
  43. Wrangham, R. W. 1980. An ecological model of female-bonded primate groups.Behaviour, 75: 262–300.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gottfried Hohmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary AnthropologyLeipzigGermany

Personalised recommendations