, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 157–165 | Cite as

Reconciliation and post-conflict third-party affiliation among wild chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania

  • Nobuyuki Kutsukake
  • Duncan L. Castles
Original Article


This study investigated post-conflict (PC) behavior among wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) of the M-group in the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania, and examined what types of behavior characterize the PC situation in this group, and the factors that influence the occurrence of PC affiliation between opponents soon after the end of an aggressive conflict (i.e., reconciliation). We found that the opponents affiliated selectively soon after the end of aggression, suggesting that reconciliation occurred in this group. The mean individual corrected conciliatory tendency (CCT) (Veenema et al. 1994 in Behav Proc 31:29–38) was 14.4%, which is similar to or lower than frequencies observed in studies of captive and wild chimpanzees. The valuable relationship hypothesis predicts that the CCT is higher among individuals who share valuable relationships (e.g., males or affiliative dyads) than among individuals who do not (e.g., females or less-associative dyads). However, the analysis based on data for aggression between unrelated individuals (including one incident between an adult and non-adult) and aggression between unrelated adults, did not uncover this difference. Affiliation by a previously uninvolved individual with the victim (“consolation”) and with the aggressor (“appeasement”) occurred more frequently following aggression than in the control condition. The results are compared with previous studies of captive and wild chimpanzees.


Chimpanzees Reconciliation Consolation Post-conflict behavior Intra-specific variation 



We would like to thank the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology, the Serengeti Wildlife Research Institute, the Mahale Mountains Wildlife Research Centre, and Tanzania National Parks for permitting this research and for support while N.K. was in Tanzania. N.K. would also like to thank Toshisada Nishida, Kenji Kawanaka, Shigeo Uehara, Kazuhiko Hosaka, Michio Nakamura, Shiho Fujita, James Wakibara, Takahisa Matsusaka, and Watongwe research assistants, as well as other colleagues of the research team including Chisa Tokimatsu, for their support in various ways. N.K. would like to thank Toshikazu Hasegawa for supervision and support over the course of this study, Keiko Fujisawa for helpful discussions, Roman M. Wittig for sharing information, reviewers for important comments, as well as Toshimichi Nemoto and his family for their support. This study was financially supported by the Monbusho Scientific Research Fund (Basic Research A1, No. 12375003 to T. Nishida) and JSPS Research Fellowships for Young Scientists (to N.K.).


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cognitive and Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of TokyoMeguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902Japan
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of SciencesThe University of TokyoBunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033Japan
  3. 3.Large Animal Research Group, Department of ZoologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridge CB2 3EJUK

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