Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp 661–668 | Cite as

Estrus cycle asynchrony in wild female chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii

  • Akiko Matsumoto-Oda
  • Miya Hamai
  • Hitosige Hayaki
  • Kazuhiko Hosaka
  • Kevin D. Hunt
  • Eiiti Kasuya
  • Kenji Kawanaka
  • John C. Mitani
  • Hiroyuki Takasaki
  • Yukio Takahata
Original Article

Abstract

Although estrous synchrony has been reported in a number of mammalian species, most often among primates, methodological and analytical problems make it difficult to interpret these results. We developed a novel estrous synchrony index and employed a randomization procedure to analyze long-term observations of female chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) estrous cycles at the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. Our results revealed that female chimpanzees at Mahale avoid synchronizing their estrous periods with each other. We also found that birthrates decreased as the breeding sex ratio increased. We suggest that estrous asynchrony decreases female–female competition for mates. Asynchrony may also reduce the potential for male sexual coercion by nonpreferred mating partners.

Keywords

Timing of estrus Mating strategy Female competition Sexual conflict Chimpanzees 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akiko Matsumoto-Oda
    • 1
  • Miya Hamai
    • 2
  • Hitosige Hayaki
    • 3
  • Kazuhiko Hosaka
    • 4
  • Kevin D. Hunt
    • 5
  • Eiiti Kasuya
    • 6
  • Kenji Kawanaka
    • 7
  • John C. Mitani
    • 8
  • Hiroyuki Takasaki
    • 7
  • Yukio Takahata
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Welfare and CultureOkinawa UniversityNahaJapan
  2. 2.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.The Graduate School of Humanities and SciencesKobe Gakuin UniversityKobeJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of Child StudiesKamakura Women’s UniversityKamakuraJapan
  5. 5.Department of AnthropologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  6. 6.Department of BiologyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  7. 7.Department of Biosphere–Geosphere System ScienceOkayama University of ScienceOkayamaJapan
  8. 8.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  9. 9.School of Policy StudiesKwansei Gakuin UniversityNishinomiyaJapan

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