Social instability raises the stakes during social grooming among wild male chimpanzees

Kaburu, Stefano S.K., Newton-Fisher, Nicholas E. (2013) Social instability raises the stakes during social grooming among wild male chimpanzees. Animal Behaviour, 86 (3). pp. 519-527. ISSN 0003-3472. (doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.06.003) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.06.003

Abstract

Explaining cooperative behaviour is a fundamental issue for evolutionary biology. The challenge for any cooperative strategy is to minimize the risks of nonreciprocation (cheating) in interactions with im- mediate costs and delayed benefits. One of a variety of proposed strategies, the raise-the-stakes (RTS) strategy, posits that individuals establish cooperation by increasing investment across interactions from an initial interaction. This model has received little quantitative support, however, probably because individuals of many social species engage in repeated interactions from a young age. In some situations, however, such as following conflicts, after prolonged absences or during social instability, established relationships may become unreliable predictors of future behaviour, creating an environment for RTS. We investigated grooming interactions among wild male chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, testing RTS in these specific contexts. We found evidence to support the view that male chimpanzees employed RTS during social instability, but not under the other conditions. However, we also found that the duration of episodes (discrete parcels) of grooming was negatively related to aggression risk and in consequence suggest that the patterning of grooming interactions indicative of RTS was less to do with preventing cheating, and more to do with avoiding the elevated risks of intramale aggression during the period of social instability. We interpret the apparent support for RTS in our data as a by-product of the way chimpanzees cope with fluctuating (here, elevated then diminishing) risks of aggression. We suggest that social instability raises the stakes for grooming by creating a more hazardous marketplace in which to trade.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.06.003
Uncontrolled keywords: chimpanzee, cooperation, Mahale, Pan troglodytes, reciprocity
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Nicholas E. Newton-Fisher
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2013 12:28 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:19 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/36271 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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