The Crop-Raiders of the Sacred Hill

  • Kimberley Jane HockingsEmail author
Part of the Primatology Monographs book series


The chimpanzees of Bossou (Pan troglodytes verus) have been forced to adapt ecologically and behaviorally to the various costs and benefits of living in a human-dominated environment. The chimpanzees frequently feed on cultivated foods; however, significant variation exists in the importance of such foods in the chimpanzees’ diet. Certain crops are mostly fallback foods, whereas others are preferred food items and are taken according to their availability in orchards and fields. While engaged in crop-raiding, the chimpanzees exhibit several behavioral adaptations, namely, a decrease in vocalization levels and increases in the transportation of food and specific vigilance behavior. Adult males and adult male-only parties crop-raid more than other age- and sex-classes/compositions and are more likely to take risks by raiding in exposed environments with increased risk of human confrontation. The use of human crops also affects the sociosexual behavior of the chimpanzees: chimpanzees appear to share the fruits of their risky labors (crop-raiding) as a delayed food-for-sex strategy, which allows adult males to advertise prowess and enhance affiliative relationships with reproductively valuable females.


Home Range Forest Edge Wild Food Wild Fruit Mango Fruit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I wish to thank all the local assistants and Bossou villagers who helped during this research period. This work was supported by a Stirling University studentship, a postdoctoral research grant from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal, and MEXT grant #20002001, JSPS-HOPE, and JSPS-gCOE (A06, Biodiversity).

Supplementary material

Papaya Sharing - Kim Hocking (WMV file 1733 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social and Human SciencesNew University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyStirling UniversityStirlingUK

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