Countering the varying risk of infanticide: chimpanzee mothers adjust their association patterns relative to male rank and infant age

Lowe, Adriana, Newton-Fisher, Nicholas E. (2016) Countering the varying risk of infanticide: chimpanzee mothers adjust their association patterns relative to male rank and infant age. In: British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology conference 2016, 9-11 Sep 2016, Canterbury. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository.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)

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Abstract

Infanticide by males is common in mammals. According to the sexually-selected infanticide hypothesis, risks increase when males can kill unrelated infants, and when an infanticidal male’s chance of siring the replacement infant is high. Infanticide occurs in chimpanzees, and rank predicts paternity, so infanticidal low-ranking males are unlikely kill their own offspring while males who rise in rank are more likely to father potential future infants than any existing ones. Given that mothers should be selected to reduce infanticide risk, we predicted that they would attempt to adjust the exposure of their infants to potentially-infanticide males: specifically, that they would reduce association with low-ranking and rank-rising males. We examined data on female association patterns collected from the Budongo Forest, Uganda, during a period encompassing both relative stability in the male hierarchy and a period of instability with a mid-ranking male rising rapidly in rank. We found that in the period of instability, mothers with younger infants reduced their association with mid-low ranking males, and particularly the rank-rising male. Our results support the sexually-selected hypothesis for infanticide, and demonstrate that female chimpanzees are sensitive to the relative risks posed by adult males.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: Pan troglodytes, Budongo, rank, dominance, coercion, counter-strategy
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 11:55 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:16 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/58920 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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