Abstract # 3225 Event # 144:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 03:35 PM-04:05 PM: Session 19 (Salon F (Sixth Floor)) Oral Presentation


M. Emory Thompson
University of New Mexico, MSC01-1040 Anthropology, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
     The behavior and life histories of female primates are expected to be strongly influenced by the high energetic demands of reproduction, though the adaptive responses to these demands vary widely. Apes face particular challenges because the length of individual reproductive efforts both confound a seasonal strategy and seriously constrain lifetime reproductive success (Knott 2001). A large body of recent research on wild chimpanzees, incorporating long-term demographic monitoring and physiological measures of reproductive and somatic health, has focused on the ways in which resource access exerts subtle influences on reproductive function throughout the life course (e.g., Pusey et al. 1997, Emery Thompson et al. 2005, 2007, 2010). Influences of age, rank, and the quality of foraging grounds contribute significantly to the quality of reproductive cycles, as well as to the relative metabolic load of gestation and lactation. In this paper, I review the most recent findings with particular attention to how empirical data contribute to a theoretical understanding of reproductive adaptations in primates and the interacting effects of reproductive variation and social behavior (e.g., Kahlenberg et al. 2008, Muller et al. 2007). Chimpanzee females display a highly risk-averse strategy to managing energy during reproduction, though the constraints of their social environment may compound the challenges posed by their physical environment.