Abstract # 107:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 11:00 AM-11:10 AM: Session 9 (Del Mar Room) Oral Presentation


K. D. Wild
University of California, San Diego, Department of Anthropology, 9500 Gilman Drive # 0532, La Jolla, CA 92093-0532, USA

Compared to male chimpanzees, females are significantly less gregarious and are less often seen supporting social allies; but this does not mean that females lack valuable and differentiated social bonds. Recent studies have offered preliminary evidence of female coalitions, but many details have been lacking. The research presented here adds to and elaborates on a growing body of research revealing complex female social relationships. I observed female Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii social interactions for 15 months in the Kanyawara community of Kibale National Park, Uganda. The strength of female social bonds was measured using dyadic association indices (DAI), using non-parametric tests for significance [2-tailed, α<0.05] in deviations from randomized associations. Females demonstrate significant association preferences, correlated with both home range use and time since immigration. Female allies use coalitions to attack other females and to defend and retaliate against aggression from both females and males. These female coalitions are formed between dyads and triads with high association indexes, and occur in predictable social contexts. Coalition formation between residents and immigrants appears to be motivated by both dominance and foraging competition. Cooperative retaliation against male aggression occurs most often when the influence of male social alliances is limited. Caution must be used when making comparisons to bonobos given the limited strength, frequency, and context of female chimpanzee alliances. This research was supported by the L.S.B Leakey Foundation.