Why do chimpanzees hunt and share meat?

Citation
Jc. Mitani et Dp. Watts, Why do chimpanzees hunt and share meat?, ANIM BEHAV, 61, 2001, pp. 915-924
Citations number
44
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR
ISSN journal
0003-3472 → ACNP
Volume
61
Year of publication
2001
Part
5
Pages
915 - 924
Database
ISI
SICI code
0003-3472(200105)61:<915:WDCHAS>2.0.ZU;2-R
Abstract
Wild chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, frequently hunt and share meat. Despite widespread interest and considerable study, continued controversy exists re garding the factors that influence chimpanzee hunting decisions and meat sh aring. Three hypotheses invoke the importance of ecological, reproductive a nd social factors. A nutritional shortfall hypothesis suggests that chimpan zees hunt to compensate for seasonal shortages in food availability. A seco nd hypothesis argues that male chimpanzees hunt to obtain meat that they sw ap for matings. A third hypothesis proposes that males use meat as a social -tool to develop and maintain alliances with other males. We tested these h ypotheses using observations of an unusually large community of chimpanzees at Ngogo in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Results did not support the nutr itional shortfall or meat-for-sex hypotheses. The Ngogo chimpanzees hunted primarily during times of food abundance rather than scarcity. The presence of oestrous females did not predict the tendency of chimpanzees to hunt. F urthermore, meat-for-sex exchanges occurred infrequently, and males did not gain a mating advantage through sharing meat. Additional observations were consistent with the male social bonding hypothesis. At Ngogo, male chimpan zees were likely to hunt when accompanied by other males. Males shared meat nonrandomly and reciprocally among themselves, and males exchanged meat fo r agonistic support. Although several factors are likely to affect chimpanz ee hunting decisions and meat sharing, these results indicate that primary causes will not be found through invoking simple energetic or reproductive considerations. (C) 2001 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.