'Friendship' for fitness in chimpanzees?

C.K. Hemelrijk, C. Meier, R.D. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


It has been repeatedly suggested that primates trade social services for fitness benefits in their relationships with the opposite sex. We tested this proposal in a colony of captive chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, by examining behavioural data on grooming, agonistic support and food sharing in relation to genetically established paternity. We found no support for the notion of trade. First, males did not sire more offspring with females that they actively groomed more frequently, that they supported more often or with which they shared food more frequently. Correspondingly, females did not give birth to more offspring sired by males from which they received more services. Second, males that showed more affiliative behaviour towards females in general did not sire more progeny. Furthermore, females did not bear more offspring sired by males to which they themselves directed more sociopositive behaviour. Results from this captive colony are compatible with those reported for chimpanzees under natural conditions. (C) 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)1223 - 1229
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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