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Male mating strategies in a fluid social system: Dunbar’s general model of mating strategies revisited

Newton-Fisher, Nicholas E., Medland, Kate (2016) Male mating strategies in a fluid social system: Dunbar’s general model of mating strategies revisited. In: 26th Congress of the International Primatological Society, 21-26 Aug 2016, Chicago. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository.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)

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. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

Dunbar’s general model of mating strategies provides a useful, but largely ignored approach for understanding the fundamental choice faced by male: to remain with females in order to exploit paternity opportunities when they arise, a social strategy, or to search for these opportunities on an ongoing, roving, basis. The model has been criticized in both its assumptions, and the data used to test it. Using published data from six different communities of chimpanzees, we address three questions: How robust is Dunbar’s original model; how robust is its support for social males in West and roving males in East Africa; and how real are supposed differences in female gregariousness between West and East African chimpanzees? We test the original model against two variants and find that despite quantitative differences, all three generate the same qualitative prediction. Thus for chimpanzees at least, Dunbar’s original model can be regarded as fairly robust. However, this prediction is that chimpanzee males should pursue a ‘roving’ strategy and that this was as true for West as for East African chimpanzees. Furthermore, the comparative data did not support an East/West dichotomy in female gregariousness. This study highlights the importance of the collection and reporting of comparable data, the utility of simple mathematical models, and the similarities in behaviour across subspecies of chimpanzees.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Poster)
Uncontrolled keywords: Chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, roving, female gregariousness, ideal gas models
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: 23 Nov 2016 11:47 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:16 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/58917 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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