Primates

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 221–236 | Cite as

Individual copulatory preference and the “strange female effect” in a captive group-living male chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

  • Mel Allen
Article

Abstract

The common chimpanzee has been considered to be a promiscuous species, although transient consort relationships and male possessive behavior have been described byTutin (1975, 1979).

A prolific adult male chimpanzee was housed with from four to seven adult female chimpanzees (depending on the females' maternal status) and copulations were recorded from August 7, 1978 until February 16, 1979, during morning feeding periods. Ten females composed the fluctuating available partners.

Sixty-four observed copulations involved six females. One female was clearly preferred, including occasions when she was not maximally tumescent (e.g., completely detumescent, pregnant) and other available females were maximally tumescent. The remainder of the observed copulations, with one exception, involved females who had recently been reintroduced into the one-male breeding group. Such copulations took place on and continued temporarily after the day of reintroduction for two females, and after the resumption of menstrual cycling for two females who had been reintroduced while still lactating. Nonpreferred females were impregnated during the period of data collection, even though copulations with them were not observed.

These data suggest that the male chimpanzee can form an individual mating preference regardless of the hormonal status of his available partners without lessening his reproductive success with nonpreferred females, but also tends toward maximization of his reproductive success by copulating with novel females.

Keywords

Lactate Reproductive Success Hormonal Status Mating Preference Individual Mating 

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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mel Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Primate StudiesUniversity of OklahomaNormanU.S.A.

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