Abstract # 214:

Scheduled for Monday, August 28, 2017 02:15 PM-02:30 PM: (Grand Ballroom) Oral Presentation


K. R. Wellens3, M. A. Stanton1, A. E. Pusey 4, E. V. Lonsdorf2 and C. M. Murray1
1The George Washington University , Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology, 800 22nd St NW, Suite 6000, Washington , District of Columbia 20052, USA, 2Department of Psychology and Biological Foundations of Behavior Program, Franklin and Marshall College, 3 The George Washington University , 4Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University

Studies from a number of species have shown that social experiences during early life shape adult social behavior. Mothers play a particularly important role in the social development of their offspring, as they are not only a primary social partner, but can also facilitate or restrict infant social interactions with others. Due to the fission-fusion grouping patterns of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), mothers can move fluidly into and out of subgroups, allowing for large variation in offspring social exposure within the community. In this study, we analyzed 42 years of data on the Kasekela community in Gombe National Park, Tanzania to investigate the relationship between maternal gregariousness during infancy (early: first six months, N=14 individuals; late: 6 months to 3.5 years, N=18 individuals) and male offspring social patterns in early adulthood (15 – 20 years of age) when males travel independently from their mothers, and enter the adult hierarchy. We found that the proportion of time mothers spent alone during early (F1,61.84=4.57; p=0.03), but not late infancy (F1,14.53=1.12; p=0.39), significantly predicted the proportion of time male offspring spent alone as young adults. Notably, early infancy corresponds to the period in which mothers show the greatest variation in gregariousness in this community and may be a critical period for epigenetic effects on social behavior. Future work will relate male gregariousness to measures of reproductive fitness.