But male and female chimpanzees achieve social status in dramatically different ways, says a new study by primatologists at Duke University. While males actively challenge their superiors to win higher rank, females accept their position in the social pecking order, waiting until more senior group members die before moving up the ladder.
The study, which appeared online Oct. 14 in the journal Scientific Reports, provides the first detailed look at how social status among wild chimpanzees changes throughout their lifetimes.
“We found that, after entering the adult hierarchy, there was a complete absence of successful challenges for rank increases among females,” said Steffen Foerster, senior research scientist at Duke University and lead author on the study. “It’s like a formal queue.”
Well, of course. Female animals, when not forced to defend themselves or their offspring, benefit little from combat so, no surprise, they avoid it and wait for a position to come free. Admitting individual exceptions.
It’s nice the team got through this story without one ridiculous claim that bonobos are entering the Stone Age. That said,
Compared to males, female chimpanzees “likely have to consider a long-term strategy,” Foerster said. “It is potentially dangerous to challenge each other — you may get injured, your offspring may be killed if you have a little baby. Finding that females actually do not fight for rank tells us how costly these challenges must be for them.” More.
Female chimpanzees do not have a “long-term strategy.” They simply avoid fights they sense—in the immediate term—they will lose. Why do we need to keep getting this stuff wrong?
See also: Are apes entering the Stone Age? (No)
Furry, feathery, and finny animals speak their minds
Matching Darwin’s Tree of Life, the tree of intelligence comes crashing down.
Follow UD News at Twitter!